Friday, November 05, 2010

I Never Thought I'd Get Irritable About Having To Learn To Use Tools

All you had to do was type and make sure copy was clean
Okay. Let me start by admitting that I'm feeling grumpy, and will probably change my mind about lots of stuff I'm going to say on this post. But right this minute? I miss the good old days, when, as a writer, all I had to do was write copy and then email it in. It had to go in as a Word document, unformatted. All I had to do is write the piece, make sure my name and contact details were on it and it was gone.

Of course, this was not a good way to for publishers and editors to project manage their incoming submissions. But that was not my problem as a writer, was it?

Of course, the recipients had to sort out the mess!
Then we all decided to make working easier, faster, smarter... and started creating little software programmes that could help manage the various tasks that we have to do on a daily basis. We even made lots that took over the "send document" function, going beyond just emailing the damned things.

Want to make your twitter use more efficient? Get tweetdeck. Have work teams spread out over various locations? Implement a web-based project management system. Better yet, use Google tools like gmail, Google Docs etc. Want publish your link in lots of web portals without having to individually visit each site? Use Imautomator.

And it worked. For a while there, I was feeling quite happy to install tools that would make my work life easier.

Then this morning, I needed to sent 8 Word files to a client, and I realised that I had to use their project management system. And it's easy enough to use. But somehow, my spirit balked. It felt like too much work.
And another client I sent some info to yesterday emailed me to remind me that the project uses Dropbox. Basically, you install the small software programme (it's online), accept the invitation and you're taken to a project management system much like Google docs. The only difference is that when you send in material, you don't actually have to go online.

You save your files in your Dropbox folder in your computer, and the programme synchronises your documents with the online facility so your files are automatically stored there to be accessed by people you share documents with. Nifty programme, actually. But this morning? The two programmes were the straw that broke the camel's back.

What was my point again? Oh yes! What I wanted to say is that, there is no doubt that these management systems help project teams more efficiently, in a more uniform manner, making information management easier for the company. But when you are a service provider like me, working on different projects with different systems, life gets a bit complicated, because sometimes you have to learn as many systems as you have clients. And that gets pretty old....FAST!


tiah said...

My brain hurt, just reading that.

Damaria Senne said...


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