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​Walking the talk on digital technologies

There are benefits to not having to use pen and paper at work.

For many years, I've relied on a pen and paper to perform tasks such as taking notes at meetings. It's a deeply embedded behaviour that's seen me resist the seductive promises of new tools and technologies.

However, as the Director of Unified Communications and Digital Media at Telstra, I felt I had to walk the talk at a personal level when it comes to digitisation.

I thought hard about how I would need to change my ways and I am now using an Apple iPad Pro and keyboard with an Apple Pencil.

Previously, I would take my laptop and smartphone as well as a (paper) notebook and pen to meetings, typically arriving slightly flustered and weighed down. Now, I turn up with a single device - the iPad Pro with attached keyboard and pencil.

The other part of my personal change program has been to work out the best application to file, store and retrieve data. I'm now using a Microsoft application for the purpose and it is working extraordinarily well.

I have now not used a pen and paper at work for at least four weeks and I'm starting to realise some benefits.

For example, I've always been very structured in the way I take notes, and am fortunate to be skilled in touch-typing. So now I listen extremely intently to what is being said to make sure that I get my notes right ¾ and am very present in the meeting itself!

The other benefit is that I've been able to set my folders up in the Microsoft application in such a way as to immediately access notes and other information from previous meetings. This means I can quickly see what note I may have made about a particular point, the context and the action that was agreed.

As a result, I am much more productive and efficient than previously. For example, during a recent two-day Telstra Executive Team offsite, I was able to take comprehensive notes and integrate them with presentation slides and other collateral. I actually had a number of other team members'come up to me afterwards to request all my notes!

I urge you to take the leap into digitisation with me. It may not be easy to dispense long-held traditional habits, but the results are well worth it.

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