Thursday, August 12, 2010

Paperless brainstorms and notes for communicators

Does creativity go out the window when you reduce your paper footprint? Not necessarily. Even this New York Times article with metrics for reducing home and office paper use starts with an example of creativity. I used that as a guide and reduced paper files, books, newspapers and all sorts of clutter and found the creative options are myriad. Here are some of my favorites:
  • Evernote's a wonderful utilitarian notekeeper--I scan or transfer recipes, receipts and all sorts of workhorse notes and files in all media here, and much of the appeal is the searchability once your items are stored here. To take it to the creative side, this marketing manager uses Evernote to create "mood boards" to discuss design and thematic concpets with clients, and to store ideas.  You can email or share notebooks from Evernote with clients and colleagues if you want to.  I use the Doxie portable scanner, compatible with Evernote, even when I travel.  And Evernote has launched the Trunk, an trove of compatible programs, apps and hardware to give you new ideas about creative uses.
  • Draft, an iPad app, lets you replicate a sketchpad, as shown here in the importance of sketching and why you should be doing it.  Short a sketchpad or an iPad? Take photos or video to capture your visual thinking.
  • If you journal your ideas, check out OhLife, a free journal-via-email that makes recording your thoughts simple--and private. You'll get an email at 8pm nightly asking about your day; respond to the email and your entry's made. Eventually, OhLife will show you past entries so you can track your progress. Read more about it in this review from The Next Web.  I confess that pen-to-paper journaling has been my daily habit for a long time, but this email-prompt (and the paperless storage and ability to archive) is cunning and appealing to me. 
What creative paperless tools are you using these days?  Share them in the comments.

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