What We Do

From Amy Wohl (in the context of Microsoft’s OneNote):

When researchers asked, “What do office workers do now?” they got a somewhat different set of answers. The list includes going to meetings, reading and creating email (maybe they should have put deleting SPAM at the top of the list?), gathering information, and communicating (not just in email, but also in presentations and reports.

All of these functions are served to some extent today by personal productivity tools, but the tools are not optimized for the way people work – or perhaps, more precisely, for the way they would prefer to work.

Today’s tools are discrete and separate. Information gathered in one place must be retyped (or found and moved) to be useful in another place. Many note takers (like me) take their notes on paper because it’s so hard to copy diagrams, make annotations or show relationships in the very linear world of keyboarded text. Microsoft Research recently found that 91 percent of information workers surveyed regularly take notes; 26 percent of these note-takers transfer handwritten notes into e-mail, and 23 percent admitted they often can’t find the information they’re looking for. 36 percent said they were ready for a better note-taking system.


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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.