Devices and Desires

We haven’t mentioned the role of devices in PKM much.   In my case, I want to be able to run my PKM applications, but I also have to have a mobile machine on which I can  demonstrate these programs to other people.   Depending on what your needs are, choosing devices to make PKM more seamless can be both easier and more complicated.

Easier, if you are comfortable entering data using smaller screens and more varied modes:  For example, with a cell phone, you can take a photo of a whiteboard or other record of a meeting and share it directly to Evernote without needing to email it, if you have Evernote on your phone (you should have Evernote on your phone).  That’s simple.  On the other hand, I have big fingers and a medium sized phone, and I am not adept at entering text, so I don’t create many new notes using Evernote on my phone – I have to be desperate.  However, I can enter text well enough to search short strings, so I make good use of lists and contacts that I store in Evernote and look at on my phone.

More complicated, because there are so many choices:   You can spend SO much time obsessing over what to get – or even whether now is the time to replace what you have.  Also, since many of us have institutionally issued machines, what do you get yourself, and when, and why? I think I am the only librarian at Kennesaw State with an Android tablet.  The library has issued iPads to many of my colleagues.  I have asked for a Windows 8 tablet, once the software is out and stable, and there are good tablets that run it.  I like tablets I can actually write on with a stylus, and I want something to replace my current, ancient laptop (4 years, I think, and it must weigh 8 lbs in its case, with cords).  I want OneNote on there, as well as Compendium, which is dialog mapping software, and Personal Brain.

The Android tablet I have is an Entourage Edge, produced by a company which went out of business almost as soon as I bought the machine.  Many of the people who still have these are

Entourage Edge

academics – but there are very few of us.  It has 2 screens, the Android on one side and an ebook reader on which you can also take notes with a stylus on the other side.  It closes up like a book – very sturdy.  It runs a version of Android that’s so old I can’t even remember what it is; the company folded well over a year ago.  It’s a great little device for students and professors alike (you can mark up pdfs on the ereader), so the manufacturer marketed it on Home Shopping Network, bringing it out right after the first iPad.  People thought they were getting a bargain iPad, and then returned it in droves.  So it’s good for reading, taking notes in meetings, and web surfing, but not for productivity.

I have been tempted by the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, but have finally, reluctantly, decided I don’t need another Android; though the Edge is ancient, it’s a decent ebook reader, and I’ll keep it for now.  Androids, like iPads, just aren’t productivity machines for me at present, and I do need to have something mobile that will run all this PKM software.  So, I am going to wait and look at the (I hope) cool new tablets that will run Windows 8.  What are you all using, or hoping to use?

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