November 19, 2012

Going Paperless

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Traceability

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About six months ago I decided to really push to reduce the amount of paper and email involved in my work life. I was going through paper notebooks like crazy, scribbing down to do lists, notes from meetings, and so on. I took a few concrete steps and I realized today that I've made great progress. I'm still carrying around the notebook that I had six months ago, and I've still got a few blank pages left.

I'm a big believer in simple solutions. Here are three things that really helped me out.

 

 

  • Evernote. I've used this for years, but I decided to use it more. It holds all of my random notes that don't belong anywhere else.
  • Asana followed by JIRA/Confluence. Asana is a great tool: fast, simple, and easy. I was tracking all my to do lists there. I ended up moving to JIRA and Confluence because we have those systems in house and it's easier to share data with the other technical marketing crew. (Note to Atlassian: take a note from Asana and give JIRA a simpler interface for non-software users that don't need a formal workflow. Do.com from Salesforce is another great example of a simple task system.)  
  • Commons. This is Perforce's own simple file collaboration program.  I always check my files, like Word documents and source code, into our Perforce repository. Before Commons, I had to email around P4Web links to other people in marketing. That wasn't great for them, and any follow-on conversation had to happen over email or phone. Now I can just point someone to Commons, and we can capture all the conversation about the file there.  

 

I once heard OneNote described as the hidden gem of Microsoft Office. I think Commons fits that description in the Perforce portfolio. I'd encourage you to grab Commons and try it out - it's free for all of our existing customers.