What about if I could have a nicely printed and bound daily personal magazine of everything critical that went though my computer each day?
Photo credit: Keith Stanley
I was thinking of this on my way back from the office, as being stuck in an underground train or in an orange colored bus, I certainly enjoy giving a look at all the things I have printed during my day at work and to start thinking about my upcoming challenges.
These normally include several email-based newsletters, exchanges with colleagues that contained extended references or stories to read, contracts or other commercial proposals to evaluate, technical profile and spec sheets for new products or services and more.
Fact is that when the time comes to get out of the office, what I can bring with me is a small pile of paper print-outs that get inserted into my computer bag in the best way possible.
So I said:
But what if I could have a software/appliance that allowed me to check mark (or uncheck) any items that I did want to have in my daily magazine, and at the end of the day, printed out a nice, properly bound edition of my own interests, maybe with a good table of contents, and category dividers thrown in as a plus?
While many companies and PR agencies have been doing this for ages, the overall process has been traditionally one of a manual process in which relevant press stories were cut off and pasted into a daily press collection.
But my personal daily magazine is not about who is talking about me. It can include that info too, but it goes beyond it by providing me with a physical, organized anthology of the relevant stuff I want to take away from my office.
I don't know about you, but even having this small bound magazines automatically labeled with their dates and key content titles (each document, email, web site, PDF has a title that can be used for this) is by itself a great helper in organizing things better. Papers that travel back and forth from the office have a very hard time staying in their proper category and not ending up in a pile of things labeled "to be further looked at".
With this imaginary device, I would have not just a pile, but a chronologically organized stack of mini-daily-magazines. One per day. Certainly easier to scan and to retrieve old items I maybe looking for by simply looking at the cover of each, which would report the date (or date-range), a ToC and maybe relevant associated thumbnails to any item who had any visual component.
Tell me how easy it is to make sense again f those growing piles of paper printouts you see accumulating everywhere.
But say you wanted to find and organize together all items that had to do with a certain company, topic or project. You could even manage that. If the tool was smart enough to gradually create a well-organized database containing all info pertaining to the items that made to my magazine lots of more thins could spin off from there. For example, it would be then possible by simply checking folder origin, dates, title and content, just like Picasa does with image tag info or a smart Copernic Desktop or Yahoo Desktop Search can do, for this new tool to easily assemble for me, upon issuing a simple query, a mini-magazine on just about anything that has been going through my computer.
The mini-daily-magazine could be even shared with close contacts and colleagues by way of an automatically generated RSS feed that included all required attachments as enclosures.
Once this content gets automatically into an RSS feed, it stops being imprisoned by the application or tool that created it and becomes re-usable and accessible everywhere, from my smartphone to any computer connected in an Internet Cafe.
So my team could receive electronically my personal mini-daily-magazine and even print it in full if necessary.
When I am on holiday, I can search, browse and bring together that content from anywhere I am. Any collection of stories and items that went through my printer is now easily accessible for me from anywhere. I can receive it as an electronic feed or as a file that I can print (the binding is really only a consumeristic final touch; though having a $10 ring binder for mini-dailies wouldn't probably be that bad of an idea either.)
What do you think?
Who do I need to talk to: HP or Microsoft?