Philosophical reflections on paperless work

The new semester starts soon in Germany and also in the USA it is time to get back to school. I would like to take this opportunity to explain what paperless studying or working means to me. What are my concerns, what advantages do I see, and what objections do I have? You could also see this article as my core beliefs in this area. Let’s dive in! The default for me is digital. This means that 99% of my work is now done digitally, with the only major exception currently being mail that reaches me in analog form. That …

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Notebooks 12 released

So… it’s been a while. In the past, I usually aimed for about two to three articles per month. Lately, I was not able to maintain this schedule due to several reasons. Most importantly, I try to focus on my PhD. Then, there was a (much needed) vacation and just a lot going on. And I am not sure that the slower cadence will change any time soon. Sorry! But enough of the excuses, back to the content: Notebooks 12 (or Notebooks 3 on the Mac) has been released. Notebooks is an app that is comparable to DevonThink or KeepIt. …

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Inbox Zero is the path to insanity

The idea of ‘Inbox Zero’ is compelling. The promise goes like this: Just clean out your inbox every day and your productivity will soar. And, to a certain degree, this is true in my opinion. It is a good idea to pursue the goal of an empty inbox. By splitting up your mail into different categories and define ways on how to handle them, you can break up the vast number of mails we face every day. I probably should write about my process at some point. But not today. Today, I’d like to write about the underlying motivation of …

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The iPad Buying Guide (April 2022)

One of the most important questions that arises for paperless studying is that of reading and note-taking. The iPad is generally a good solution for this. In this article, I have a look at all currently available iPad models and answer the question: Which iPad should I buy for university? The obvious solution: laptops But first, let’s take a quick look at the obvious solution: laptops. If you look into any lecture hall, you will see many, many MacBooks (usually MacBook Airs), supplemented by one or the other Samsung device, rarely Lenovos or others. That makes sense, since most people …

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Farewell, OmniFocus, farewell!

For ages, I’ve been a devout OmniFocus user. Even more so after reading Kourosh Dini’s excellent book Creating Flow with OmniFocus. OmniFocus was an integral part of my productivity system. Most days, OmniFocus’ familiar interface was the first thing in the morning and the last in the evening on my computer screen. One could say, it was the most important app in my life. However, sometimes it feels like a company is moving in a direction you don’t want to follow anymore. I had this feeling first when OmniFocus introduced its built-in automation engine. Yes, it is an incredible achievement …

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Eine neue Ära für Papierlos Studieren / A new beginning for this blog

  Es ist jetzt ziemlich genau 4 Jahre her, dass ich den ersten Artikel auf diesem Blog veröffentlicht habe. Ich wollte damals einfach eine Möglichkeit haben, über eine Leidenschaft von mir zu schreiben: Digitale Produktivität, Apps, Workflows, Technik-Kram. Und da ich schon einige Jahre Erfahrung mit einem politischen Blog gesammelt hatte (Blog | Buch), war es naheliegend, wieder einen Blog zu starten. Seitdem sind 145 Artikel und ein Buch hinzugekommen. Zugleich hatte und habe ich mehr Erfolg damit, als ich je gedacht hätte. Monat für Monat lesen mehrere Zehntausend Menschen meine Artikel und es hat sich die ein oder andere …

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Add your COVID vaccination certificate to the Wallet app with iOS 15.4

The latest iOS release 15.4 has a few new features to offer, including the ability to use FaceID while wearing a mask. Also new is the function to import the Covid vaccination certificate (for EU citizens) into the iPhone Wallet and the Health app. To accomplish this, you don’t have to do anything other than scan the QR code you received after getting vaccinated – that’s it. After that, you can find the proof in both Health and Wallet.

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My newfound love for DevonThink

I had turned my back on DevonThink for a long time: too complicated, constant problems with iCloud, and often just overkill. Recently, however, the app has become a permanent part of my setup again. What has changed? Some time ago, I had a series on Devonthink here on the blog, in which I introduced and also evaluated the program. At that time, I used it as my digital archive, where I really stored everything: from scientific papers to electricity bills. Over time, the frustrations have accumulated, especially because I had problems with the iCloud sync again and again. Whether this …

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