We all know the paperless office is a myth: the utility of analogue tools like pens, pencils and paper are undeniable, and there’s plenty of research telling us that physical note-taking is a more effective way to gain and retain knowledge.

However, the digital world offers plenty of productivity benefits too. That’s why the next generation of hardware and software is combining the latest digital innovation with intuitive physical inputs to create a hybrid office experience.



Always analogue

The keyboard isn’t necessarily mightier than the pen when it comes to taking notes. Researchers at Princeton and the University of California found that study participants who took notes on laptops performed worse on conception questions than those who took notes with pen and paper.

The study also found that digital note-takers displayed a tendency to transcribe information verbatim, while manual note-takers were more likely to process information and reframe it in their own words. The researchers concluded that verbatim-style note-taking is detrimental to learning.

But analogue note-taking isn’t just better for retaining information. It’s also power independent, doesn’t require a network connection, isn’t vulnerable to cyberattacks and can’t be erased by digital malfunction.

Deliberately digital

However, digital tools have many productivity benefits. Shared digital documents foster easy organisation-wide collaboration, and rich multimedia content is a must for business presentations in a digital world.

Superior cataloguing and search functionality make digital data retrieval almost instant, and either on-site or cloud-based server storage with data encryption is a far cry from locked filing cabinets.

And document editing is incredibly more efficient in digital software than on paper. It’s easy to take the simple cut, copy and paste functionality of digital word processing for granted – and where would we be without spelling and grammar checks?

Creating a hybrid office

Fortunately, we no longer need to choose between the analogue and digital office. The next generation of touch-enabled devices, combined with sophisticated user-friendly software, are combining the latest in digital innovation with intuitive analogue-style input methods such as touchscreens, styluses and digital pens to achieve perfect productivity.

Choose your machine

The HP EliteBook 1030 G4 is an excellent example of cutting-edge digital hardware that embraces the benefits of analogue-style work processes.

It provides an authentic pen-to-paper experience with the optional HP Rechargeable Active Pen. Use the pen to write or draw on-screen for analogue-style note-taking and document annotation, while instantly digitising your notes for easy sharing, annotation and collaboration.

Power up with smart software

The latest operating systems are also making the most of analogue-style input hardware. Windows 10, for example, enables touchscreen zooming, scrolling and document signing. It supports optical character recognition (OCR) and includes talk-to-type functionality and a voice-enabled digital assistant.

Meanwhile, Office 365 supports intuitive digital pen input for easy note-taking and document annotation in handy digital notebook apps like OneNote. This is an ideal away to capture, organise and cross-reference all your handwritten notes, sketches, web research and images across your devices.

Thanks to technology like this, we no longer need to choose between an analogue or digital office environment. Rather, we can harness the best of both worlds to achieve perfect productivity.

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