A friend of mine recently told me that he finally decided to actively look out for a new job at a different company – even a different industry maybe. He clearly explained how he got to that decision. He found that what he did for his employer over the years had deviated more and more from both his competences and his interests. Very clear assessment. But when thinking of how to actually reposition himself with a new branch environment for a role that would better fit with his career vision, he was puzzled and needed guidance. I roughly laid out some steps that I would recommend him. His answer: Can you write this down – word by word – please? Not that I was a professional career consultant, far from, but well, here we go: My 10 step recommendation to a new role.
It’s been a while since my last post in this series. We enjoyed our first christmas with our newborn in the circle of our families. Truly wonderful weeks. I used this relaxed “time between the years” to do some research on what kinds of documents I could really get rid of (scan & shred) – and maybe more importantly – what I would definitely want to keep as paper original. Here’s what I found.
Now that I have figured out my file naming convention I can get to one of my favourite parts: Making things EASY.
Easy means to me: No need to think and still get the perfect result. One way to achieve this is muscle memory. Can you remember the times when you right-klicked with your mouse to open a context menu, selected the copy entry and… Well – didn’t cmd-c / cmd-v feel sooo much better? With TextExpander I can build the same kind of muscle memory for standardised text snippets. Applying this to file naming standards is only logical.
Breaking my pile of paper down into smaller piles by topic and selecting examples of typical documents in every pile was an excellent idea. I now have a structured overview of what I actually need to scan, file and manage on a regular basis. With that knowledge I can now think about a file naming convention.
People have different recommendations for naming files and I see they make sense each in their way. The key is finding out what would work for me. So here’s my first take.
It’s time to work out the processing phase of my future paperless system.
Quick recap: First, I’ve gotten clear about how I’d actually like to use my stuff once I’ll have gone paperless. I think making sure I enjoy the ways I work makes it more likely for me to keep to my system. Second, from this „how“ I’ve derived my personal requirements for security and convenience – and based on that chosen appropriate tools.
Now let’s dive deeper!
One of the benefits from going paperless is having my documents at hand whenever and wherever I suddenly need them. That’s difficult for sensitive documents because storing these in the cloud is a no go. Since 1Password does not allow (yet?) to view and use files that are attached to secure notes within its iOS versions, I was looking for a different way to store these. Reader Malte pointed me to BoxCryptor which encrypts files on my Mac and/or iOS devices and (here’s the trick) integrates nicely with my Dropbox folder! I’ve installed and played with BoxCryptor now for a while and here are my first impressions. Just 4 words of warning: I already love it ;-) Read more
In my last paperless post I defined 3 layers of security for my data. So next I need to pick the tools that give me the best convenience on each level. I don’t believe much in “one size fits all”. I rather think that specialised products can give me the best user experience on the security level that they were designed for.
Imagine it’s the end of your work day. Imagine you’d like to surprise your loved one with a self-cooked dinner – but have no clue what exactly that should be. You remember she loves scallops. But now what? Drive home – search through your recipe books for a scallops recipe that seems feasible – write down the ingredients – drive back out to the shops?! By the time you’ll be home she’ll likely have ordered Pizza – long before you even started cooking… Well I’ve got a trick for you.
In order to make sure I’ll actually use (and keep using!) my paperless system, I figured out I need to start defining the setup “backwards”. Using MacSparky‘s 3 layer structure that would be backwards from use to capture:
- Start with how I like to use my documents
- Derive the best fitting tools and workflows to process the files
- Make sure my capture machinery supports these workflows
So I’ve spent a day on tackling question #1 and here’s my outcome: Read more