LACCD Paperless Challenge - Chapter 1
It's been two days, and while I thought this would be an eye popping experience, I am quickly finding that my day to day work lifestyle is actually more sustainable than my personal lifestyle. So far I have yet to create a paper document for work. However, when it comes to eating out, I never thought about all the individual wrapping and paper napkins that we use. More on that later. For now, here's some highlights from my first two days of the paperless challenge at work.
I spent some time mapping out which tools I would use to maintain a paperless workplace. From a communication standpoint, solving the paperless puzzle has been something I have been working on for a while. All written correspondence is email, and if I need a document to be immortalized, I create a .pdf. If I need to collaborate I send the original document or share the link from ProjectWise. I used to have small note pads or a sketchbook at my desk to jot down ideas or to do lists. However, since I now have a tablet, I have been using apps to take care of these tasks. "Paper" is a great app for sketching and jotting quick notes and the beautiful thing is that it seems to have unlimited pages meaning my sketchbook will never fill up.
Whenever I need to start mapping out an idea, this tool comes in handy, and forces me to carry my iPad around just like I did a regular sketchbook and pen in the past. I can then save these sketches and send them off one at a time or as a book via email or social media.
For meeting minutes, I am a big fan of Evernote. Here I can take notes, clip web pages, snap photos, record audio or simply upload sketches and documents with the free version. I can then share the notes via email or a web link. Keeping the files organized is pretty easy with a variety of search features that can even look for a word in a sketch or a photograph! For a monthly fee you can also attach and view a variety of documents and collaborate with your colleagues.
Can I make you a copy?
During a meeting with my boss this week, I was asked to create a spreadsheet and was presented a paper sample of the document to review. When asked if I would like a copy, I paused slightly, and then proudly proclaimed my intentions to go paperless. Expecting a roll of the eyes, or some gentle ribbing, I was pleasantly surprised to find my colleague was sympathetic to my cause and even shared with me his story about digtizing his home records using a home scanner and recycling and shredding the paper documents that cluttered his garage. He then offered to loan me his copy which I obliged, and captured the document with the camera on my iPad. I then used Evernote to organize the photo in to a new note. When I returned to my desk, the photograph was already waiting for me. Evernote automatically synchronized the image to my desktop, and I pulled up the photo as reference and began working on my document, and returned the paper copy intact.
I then started thinking about some other workflows that I needed to accommodate. What if someone needs a signature? What if I am at a campus and need to access a file I was working on at the Program Management office? What if I want to collaborate with multiple consultants located a various offices across Southern California? How do we encourage our construction managers to use the electronic drawings and BIM files to review and assess the quality of their projects? The opportunities are endless! More to follow...