Going Digital – Introduction

You might think: ‘Ross? Yeah, he’s a real geek. All the latest gadgets.’ But it’s not quite true. And it’s especially not true in the world of entertainment. We barely have HDTV, I’m not a big gamer, and we still buy most of our music on CD and we purchase real paper books.

But I’ve been making forays into digital entertainment and questioning my own desire to have physical media for everything, and also playing with going ‘paperless’.

This is the first in a mini-series of notes about ‘Going Digital’. Each will cover a separate real world thing (books, music, notes) that I’ve been going digital with, and will evaluate the tools I tried and how close to fully-digital I’ve become with that thing.

But before tackling the things…why has Going Digital been so hard, and what changed?


I don’t know why I’ve been so slow to embrace digital entertainment media. I mean, I’ve had an MP3 player for years, I now (somewhat ashamedly) have an iPhone and an iPad. I’ve been on broadband for years too. I’m generally not an early adopter of technology, but I certainly get in pre-mainstream.

I guess I’ve been held back by what-ifs. If all my music and books are digital, it seems easier to lose. I need it backed up, and that backup needs to be safe.

Plus we’ve had cars with CD players, so CDs have remained important. And we’ve just not had devices suitable for proper reading on.

What changed?

For music, the thing that changed was the cloud. Frustrated with only having a small percentage of my music on my mobile devices, I recently tried out cloud music services to keep all my music in ‘the cloud’.

For books it was the iPad, which I decided could actually be a decent eBook reader.

The iPad has also made a ‘paperless office’ more feasible, so I’ve been playing with tools that achieve that, and note-taking tools in particular.

I’ve not found going digital easy, the number of services and apps that you could possibly use is huge and finding the tools that work for you needs trial and error. I can see why people stick with what they know in the form of paper and CD’s!

I hope the posts that follow help you choose tools without needing to try them out, and help ou on your own journey of Going Digital.