I used a tablet PC in the work environment for about one year and as a grad student for about 2.5 years. It’s worked great! I would recommend a tablet for tech savvy students. However, in the work environment, it is not much of an improvement over pen and paper. I’m back to using my journal/logbook at work because for one BIG reason: durability.

The note taking capability of OneNote is excellent and would work [u]very[/u] well with the M-T system. My favorite feature of OneNote how notes are organized into Tabs and expanding “pages”. It’s very natural to have one “page” per meeting/discussion and all your “pages” grouped under tabs by topic (e.g., DR, project, etc.). I almost [u]never[/u] used the writing to text feature, because the “Text Search” function searches through my handwriting…as bad as it is.

The biggest drawback, by far, is durability. If I drop my logbook on the floor, I’m not worried about it breaking. While I never dropped a tablet, a year of meetings and going back and forth from home quickly adds up. At the time I was averaging about 20-30 meetings per week. Eventually after about a year of use, my work tablet (Motion LE1600) developed a crack in the casing and became unstable. My personal tablet (Gateway M275) lasted a bit longer. It made through slightly over 3 years of MBA classes and home use before the system board cracked.

In the end, I’m glad I had the tablet for school; I have some great reference notes. I do miss some of the features of having a functioning tablet at work, but I don’t think it’s worth the cost of replacing ever 1-2 years.



jeremykelly's picture
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I want to point out a feature of OneNote that I don't think you referenced.

Inside OneNote you have the ability to record the audio of the meeting. When recording a meeting and taking notes, OneNote puts markers into the recording at the point in time when you wrote the note. Later when reviewing my notes, I can hover over the note and OneNote can take me to the point in time of the discussion when I took that note to add clarity to note I took.

ccleveland's picture

I tried that feature; however, the microphones on my tablet PC did not allow a good enough audio recording to get much value. Additionally, I found that I usually don't need to hear word-for-word what someone said. I expect it would work very well (with a better mic) in a situation where the actual words used are very critical... like a deposition.

I'm glad you've had success with that!


Mark's picture
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I didnt know that, and that sounds pretty darn cool.

And I still like my vintage Cross pens and fountain pens on good paper.


thaGUma's picture

Don't forget to warn everyone you are recording! :twisted:

jhack's picture

Ask permission.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Gotta tell ya, folks, I think the whole warning thing is overrated. You ought to know better.

No one should ever say anything in any meeting they don't want repeated, period.


jhack's picture

I'm a paper and pen fan. And I agree that no one should be saying things in a professional setting which they wouldn't want repeated.

There are laws against recording phone conversations without a warrant or permission (I'm not a lawyer, but I assume this would include conference calls). And there are undoubtedly folks who would be unhappy to find out after the fact that they had been recorded, even if it were technically legal.

I suppose I'm a little old school; asking permission to record someone, or to take their picture, seems simply polite.