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Personal Productivity Secrets: Do what you never thought possible with your time and attention... and regain control of your life by Maura Nevel Thomas

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Chapter 9

Emerging Concepts in Information Management

In this chapter

  • The paperless life
  • The push and pull of information

There are at least two ideas on the horizon that hold the possibility to affect the way you currently manage the details of your life. The first is the idea of “going paperless,” which has been discussed as far back as the 1940s but still remains elusive.

The second is the newly emerging concept of ambient information—displaying information in a way that is neither intrusive nor distracting. This chapter takes a closer look at these concepts.

Can You Go Paperless?

I explained in Chapter 5 why I believe that a paper-based PIM is not the most effective solution for managing the details of your life; but what about all the other paper in your world? Even if you’re someone whose work-related paper use is declining, you might still deal with excessive amounts of paper in your personal life.

The idea of the “paperless office” has been around for decades, and the term seems to have been coined in a Business Week article in 1975. Not only a paperless office, but a paperless life, can be an appealing idea for several reasons.

Environmental Appeal

Most people don’t realize that close to 50 percent of the global wood harvest is used for paper production.1

Forest harvesting has a devastating effect on the environment, such as soil runoff and erosion, loss of wildlife habitat, and species extinction. Forests also regulate rainfall and regulate the temperature of the planet. ...

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