Saving paper, saving time through PDF

I imagine that you’ve thought about trying to reduce the amount of paper you handle.

A good place to start is reducing the amount of paper you generate.

A GREAT place to start that is to quit printing documents for reference, just keep them on your computer.

Saving output to PDF is a great place to start, and you can do it for free. PDF isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough for capturing page images, so it’s a great substitute for paper.

On the Mac (OS X only): print your document, and use the PDF link to save a copy.
(Yes, “It just works.”)

On Windows, install CutePDF and use the virtual printer that it creates to save your output to PDF.

In both cases, be sure to check that the information you wanted is in the printout!

If you want to REDUCE the paper you print, but need a few reference pages:

On Mac (OS X): print your document, and use the Preview link to send the PDF to the Preview application. Print the just the pages you need.

On Windows: use the page preview menu item (if supported in the application), and print just the pages you need. If page preview is NOT supported, create a PDF (see above) and print just the pages you need.

Unfortunately, PDF isn’t the greatest format for archiving, but it’s a good step in the right direction.

Best,
Dak

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Saving paper, saving time through PDF

I imagine that you’ve thought about trying to reduce the amount of paper you handle.

A good place to start is reducing the amount of paper you generate.

A GREAT place to start that is to quit printing documents for reference, just keep them on your computer.

Saving output to PDF is a great place to start, and you can do it for free. PDF isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough for capturing page images, so it’s a great substitute for paper.

HOW TO, and how it pays off:
Continue reading “Saving paper, saving time through PDF”

Focus, focus, focus

For me, today is all about focus.

As David Allen reminds us (you have read David Allen’s Getting Things Done, right?), you can really only have one first priority at a time. You CAN multi-task, but it comes at a cost.

So how do you deal with this? Focus.

Pick one thing.
Do it until it is done.
Do the next thing.

And now, on to the next thing.

If you want to read a little more deeply on this topic, here’s a paper written by Francis Heylighen and Clément Vidal, entitled “Getting Things Done: The Science behind Stress-Free Productivity.” Grab a copy and read it when you have some downtime.

In the meantime, focus. Pick the next thing. Do it until it is done.

Best,
Dak

Sources of inspiration, part 2: Dr. Randy Pausch and the Last Lecture

Being on vacation, I’m taking it easy on the business and software development management topics for a bit.

A friend of mine sent me this link, on another video of a source of inspiration.

It’s worth your time. It’s a real-life example of an answer to the question: if you were to give the last lecture of your life, knowing that you only have a few months to live, what would you say? If you had to live your life that way, what would you do?

Have an excellent week,
Dak

Summary for this week: do it now, do it fast, do it cheap

So, what does all this mean?

Prototypes are your friend. Keep it simple.

1) In developing any product, especially software, DO IT NOW. So pick the things you can do NOW and get them done. Not partially done, not sloppily done…DONE, as in IT WORKS! This frees you to do something more, different…if you keep slogging on the same old thing, you are trapped in diminishing returns.

2) Decide when you are ready to show something GOOD to your customer. Keep the pace up. Don’t fall into the trap of “We can’t ship it, because the next version will be so much better!”. Show it, agree on what has to happen next[*], and then ship when you say you will.

3) Ship it, and follow up. Make a list of things you can do NOW. See step 1.

[*] Agreement means “We will pay you money when it does this.” Not “It would be nice if it did this”…that’s not agreement, that’s just socializing. You need agreement, or you aren’t DONE.

How does this fit into what I was talking about before?

A really good prototype might well be something you can sell; if not you can sell the idea, get feedback, and make something that can be taken to the market. It also allows you to play with something completely new, or the crazy idea for your main product that is too risky to actually DO with the main product.

As always, comments are more than welcome.

Best,
Dak