a nice story, blog policy1.1 and a review of a semi decommissioned product

Edit:

Apparently notebook is useable only by longterm docs users, and is no longer being actively developed. Have dropped that section to bottom for those who are interested. Would still like feedback on others’ experience with web-based productivity tools. Story and policy change notification bumped up.

Folksy story time

My team when I work on the weekend are all leaders, but I usually end up giving a share of the training role to the Deputy*. I also give him the mock, but it’s because I don’t have to educate him the way I do some of the of the crew – he’s already switched on. Trust me, the mock comes on back.

The some of the crew who aren’t yet fully up to their capability have just started their day job in b2b. He topped the country in his first non-training week. He has superpowers. I’m so proud but unfortunately for him that means I’m upping his productitivity. This is what we call “the lols”.

I sent (we’ll call him Sales Lad from here on in) to do the holds today. We have races (managing young males 101) and he was competing with the Deputy. He chose to have his teabreak first. What happens but while he’s in there the Deputy strolls over to the computer, runs the list without printing it, grabs one book and puts it on the appropriate trolley behind the desk. I decide it’s allowable – Sales Lad should rightly look there and will in fact get bonus points if he finds it.

Things change when Sales Boy comes out. The Deputy goes to move the book a second time and I pip him. Ball in play and all that. His penalty is that he has to reveal that he cheated at the end. That’s the way things go.

He needn’t have worried. Suffice to say it was a less than timely performance. That’s ok. Sales Boy’s greatest strength is that he never makes the same error twice, although he does have to be told.

Next I’ll have to teach him to keep an eye on the Deputy.

*Please note there’s also a Real Deputy, who he is secretly beneath in the world – she’s not in this story, but she’s our eminence grise, Karateka and business analyst.

Blog policy

Blog policy updated. In line with organisational thinking I’ve been doing, I’ve added my exemplar of a disclaimer for a professional blogging to their profession. About time too.

Review of an apparently obsolescent product

I’ve a few projects on the hop at the moment and having grown tired of trying to find a paper or plugin solution satisfies (I’m down on carrying a murse) and I’ve been experimenting with google notebook.

I’m finding it useful – as I’m not doing a compare I can’t give a recommend on those terms, but as with any google product it achieves what it sets out to do, and for the now I’m content to continue using it.

I found the learning curve fairly smooth after one wee hiccup. The top level folders are called notebooks. I wanted to start a new project, and my initial toying had shown me how to generate new notebooks with a name and delete them, but I hadn’t yet learnt how to rename existing ones. To clear my workspace before I started – a technique I learnt in theworksmart programme that’s stuck – I deleted the starter folder. It didn’t work – or rather it did and then autopopulated.

It’s a small thing like I say, but I am picky. My theory (outlined further here in a library context) on online tools is fairly close to Occam’s Razor – don’t multiply entities needlessly. If I delete my last notebook, there’s a reason I do it. It’s possible I might have done it accidentally – but I’m not a gmail user, this isn’t a microsoft suite mainstay. I didn’t choose the tool because I had no option, I did so for strategic reasons. I don’t think I’m untypical of their audience. Give me that option, sure. But I like that kind of function turned off when I start working with a tool.

Gripe over. We each have our quirks.

Really it’s a good thing. I levelled up at it tonight – was doing a wee sort – dropping stuff from projects into holding spaces, deleting empty subfolders. Quite chuffed, not at all worried about having spent a moment fuming at the UI. Give it a try, let me know what you think – or tell me what you’re using.

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About seanmurgatroyd
Library (Shared blog): http://diligentroom.wordpress.com/ Personal including infoculture, book reviews: http://diligentroom.wordpress.com/ Music: http://seanfishmusic.wordpress.com/ Last.fm band page: http://www.last.fm/music/Seanfish @seanfish

2 Responses to a nice story, blog policy1.1 and a review of a semi decommissioned product

  1. Sally says:

    Hi Sean,

    I haven’t used Google notebooks before but it sounds very similar to Microsoft OneNote (which usually comes free with Microsoft Office). I like Microsoft Onenote because it combines the flexibility of Powerpoint or Publisher (you can put text and images anywhere rather than in lines) with being able to capture information from the web. I have several notebooks that I use in OneNote and constantly refer to them. My OneNote files can also be made available over the web so that I can access them from any comper.

  2. seanmurgatroyd says:

    Thanks Sally – I do run the Office 2007 package on my home machine and have OneNote as a result. I’ve played with it a little bit. I suspect something not so tied to Ajax requirements that lets me move objects would suit well, so I may end up giving a longer play.

    I was unaware of the ability to sync – is this possible on any machine, or only on ones with Office installed? Or does “made available” mean view but not manipulate? That would very much be one strong factor for me at this stage of my work – I like to be able to manage all of my projects whatever kind of screen I end up in front of.

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