July 25, 2012
Every year since 2005 I have attended the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries. In my quest to continue going “paperless”, I decided to forgo all the printing and notebooks that usually go with conference attending and try paperless conferencing. Here is an overview of how it went.
I felt like I made good use of my laptop, iPad, and phone. I used the Tripit app to store all my travel and hotel information. I typed my notes into Evernote one day using my laptop and the other day using my iPad. I used Box.net for sharing my presentation with the program organizer and accessed my normal everyday files using Dropbox. Google Places and Yelp were very helpful for finding information about places to go and how to get there. I even played apps and read ebooks instead of bringing books or magazines to entertain myself on the plane or in the evening.
The bad thing about going paperless at convention was that I always (literally) had my phone in my hand. I was constantly looking at the time, checking my calendar, check the program scheduling, and messaging people with whom I was planning to meet up. I just felt rude. When I did put my phone down, I always seemed to miss an important text or “to do reminder”.
The other bad thing was how heavy all my items and their cords were in my bag. My shoulders are still sore from carrying a briefcase filled with devices, cords, adaptors, and accessories.
There was one intentional exception and one lazy moment in my “paperlessness”. The intentional exception was with business cards. I think it is important to network and exchanging business cards is a great way to stay in touch with new colleagues. I didn’t want people to feel like I wasn’t engaged in our interactions by rejecting or refusing to give cards. I know that I could have used a business card app and honestly didn’t experiment with one this time around. I think my goal next year will be to take the cards to give to people, but to use the apps for storing contacts.
The lazy moment happened when I was getting a quick training session with someone on how to fulfill some of my new TS Executive Board duties. I did jot down notes on some paper instead of typing them on one of my many devices. There was no real reason other than just being lazy for a moment about my paperless quest. After that meeting though, I did put my new TS duties “to do” list in OmniFocus.
So…would I do paperless conferencing again?
Most definitely. I think process of paperless conferencing will only get better as I refine my personal paperless conferencing style.