Allen J. Hall

Materials Science & Engineering, Productivity, and Life

The iHand: Lo-Fi -v- Hi-Fi Methods For Productivity

iHandRecently a friend saw me with my hand covered in notes, and yet, in the same hand was my iPod Touch (a very capable productivity tool by itself).  He laughed hysterically and resisted pointing and laughing with some difficulty.  :)   Instead, he took this photograph to share with others.  [Photo courtesy of Rick Haasch.]

This picture speaks volumes with respect to how easy it is to input data into the iPod and iPhone.  I hate to say it, but the simple stylus was quicker on the Palm platforms.  People are just used to using pens and pencils.  My inked up hand is a very clear indication of this.  To some extent, you can get around this problem with the phone service Jott; however, it also is not as quick as a pen.  Why do the options and computer voice always take soo long in voicemails and these new speech to text services?  [Incidentally, I love Jott for the following: On the go (driving) e-mails and SMS, Expense account additions during the actual payments of said items, and quick notes to myself when anything other than a voice-call is possible.]

The notes in question were taken in typical mid-hallway quick conversation mode, when there just wasn’t enough time to try and open the iPod, turn on an application, and start using the little funky button keyboard.

Incidentally, I also carry a Shirtpocket Briefcase ala Levenger, which always holds a series of 3×5 cards for lo-fi inbox notes.  The 3×5 card is the killer productivity app.  I’ll have to comment on these types of methods in future posts.  Let’s just say there’s a reason most old guys carry around a stack of 3×5′s in rubber bands, or monkey-clips, always in their breast pocket with a pen.

I would love to hear from you about your own methods of Hi-Fi and Lo-Fi productivity and difficulties in their intersections.

Today’s Earworm: “Saint – Saens Concerto Pour Piano N°5 <<Egyptien>> En Fa Majeur, Opus 103 Allegro Animato” performed by Aldo Ciccolini/Orchestre De Montpellier Languedoc – Roussillon from the album Saint – Saens Concerto Pour Piano N°4 Et N°5

One Comment

  1. acoustic59
    Posted June 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Hi Allen- it’s funny I just left a comment on your perfect pencil post and saw this one. I also use a 3×5 pocket briefcase in my pocket for on the run notes.

    I think technology has missed the direct input impulse of the act of writing something down on paper, and the more technological we get, we still don’t trust the virtual backups of data and keep lots of paper records still. It is still quicker and more enjoyable to write a note with pencil and paper.

    My system of 3×5′s, ipod touch for appts/audio/photo/video recording seems the best of both worlds (I’m a sculptor who is being dragged into the digital world slowly….).

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A Quick Introduction...

I'm a graduate student (PhD Candidate) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

I've studied and researched in two fields of Materials Science and Engineering (Polymers and Semiconductors). My interests are as diverse as my musical tastes and I usually have my hand in some crazy project during my free time.

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