RFC: What programs are you using with your tablet?


The times they are a-changin’.

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RFC mean Request for Comment. This article will be published on StudentTabletPC tomorrow around noon. Please submit all comments before then:

Here’s a good question I get quite a bit: What programs are you using with your tablet?

In just looking at how full my "Program Files" folder is, I must have several dozen programs installed. Of those the following are programs that I use specifically because I have a Tablet.

Microsoft OneNote [Link]

I use OneNote everyday to take most of my notes. I also use it to store documents I’ve scanned in using Microsoft Office Document Scanning and Imaging. Each class has its own Section and each day (for each class) has its own page. When taking notes, I use a slightly modified version of the Cornell Notetaking Format. For starters, I don’t write a summery at the end. I do use the "cue" column to the left, filling it with keywords that I can search for later, similar to how you might use tags in del.icio.us.

PDF Annotator [Link]

Many of my classes have PDFs on the web with the PowerPoint content for lecture. I download the PDFs before class and mark them up using PDF Annotator as the prof speaks. Yes, I do know that I can just print the PDFs to Windows Journal or OneNote, but I’ve found that I lose resolution and graphs can come out looking quite funky.

Microsoft Office Document Scanning and Imaging [Link]

Office Document Scanner and Office Document Imaging are two hidden gems of the Office 2003 suite. Using my USB TravelScanner, I scan papers right after they are handed to me. Once in Office Document Imaging, I have several options:

  • Export text to Word
  • Save as an annotateed TIFF
  • Print to PDF, Windows Journal, or OneNote

I usually print to OneNote and make my annotations there.

Extended Desktop for Tablet PC [Link]

Extended Desktop for Tablet PC

Using your Tablet with an additional monitor can be a very efficient way of getting work done. So when I have big projects to work on, I’ll plug my external monitor into my M200. I can then put whatever material I’m working with on my external monitor and have OneNote open on my Tablet.

What to do about navigation? I could always use an external mouse, but that pretty much defeats the purpose of having a Tablet. Microsoft has my back on this one. The Extended Desktop PowerToy creates a window on your primary screen that you can interact with to control the cursor on your secondary screen (did any of that make sense?). You can have the background displayed as a green grid or as a minature version of your actual secondary screen.

Temptation Blocker [Link]

There are days when I just don’t want to take notes in class. For those days, I use Temptation Blocker (TB). Open it up and select the programs you to block yourself from (email, instant messaging, web browser, etc). Then pick an amount of time for said programs to be blocked and "Get Work Done!" Try to open one of the blocked programs and TB will block it. After your time in the slammer class is up (or however long you set it for), TB will let you alert you. In the event of an emergency, you can enter a 32-character string to unlock your programs early.

Optimoz – Mouse Gestures [Link]

I was original introduced to Optimoz Mouse Gestures by the Robert Scoble, famed Microsoft Front Man (at least that’s what I call him), at the monthly Seattle Blog Meetup about 11 months ago. Gestures is one of the coolest extentions for Firefox. Over three dozen default functions can be performed just b right clicking on your pen and gesturing. A must have for Tablet browsing.By the way, Scoble also uses an M200, or at least he did when I last saw him (11 months ago).


Have any cool programs you use to enhance your Tablet productivity? Leave us a comment!