PMs: Time to Move to Digital Books

Early adopters never have it easy.

Especially if you’re short on money.

My early adopter days ground to a halt after buying the original IPod

that was replaced by the IPod Nano,

the IPod Shuffle,

the IPod Touch,

the IPhone

then the IPhone 3GS

I bought them all.

Since then I’ve been slow to adopt new gadgets.

So with the IPad…I looked briefly, but passed.

When the IPad was released, Amazon released the Kindle app for the IPhone and IPad.  Because the app was free, I downloaded it and was surprised at how easy it was to use.  I had to admit that reading e-ink was just as pleasant as paging through a book and I didn’t miss holding the physical book as much as I thought I would.

When I read through Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It (Great book by the way) I realized the Kindle IPhone/ IPad app would make a great tool for Project Managers wanting to keep key reference books close at hand.  Why?

  1. I can carry a bag of books in my IPhone.
  2. Rather than lugging around a bag of books or keeping them on my desk at work, I can keep them stored on my IPhone and backed up on my computer. Right now, I have Mojo and I am thinking about getting the PMBOK and Reinventing Project Management from the Kindle Store.

  3. Referencing books is easier.
    In the Kindle for IPhone/ IPad app, the mark-up functionality makes referencing key ideas much easier.  By highlighting a word or a section, I can make a note using the Kindle popup keypad that I would have written as a page number in the back of a physical book. If I just want to remember the page, I can bookmark it.  If I want to remember a key passage, I can select and then Highlight it for later reference. Later, bookmarks, highlighted sections and notes can be easily reviewed and jumped to from anywhere in the book just by going to the Go to page. With this feature, PMBOK or Project reference books can be reviewed at leisure and bookmarked ideas can be used on the way to a meeting.
  4. Save on Bookshelf space.
    Two years ago, I bought a new bookshelf to make room for the books that were overflowing my shelves. Last year, I was already out of space and I started stacking books on top of other books.  This year, some of my books will start filling up all the extra space on my IPhone and I’ll have fewer physical books to squeeze onto my bookshelves.

Amazon has already a small collection of project management books, some that would be useful for reference.  I’ve reviewed or mentioned a number of them on this blog: Just Enough Project Management, Reinventing Project Management, and Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers, for example. Any of them would be great options to include in a E-book library.  Even the PMBOK is available in Kindle format.

Now Might Be the Time

Now might be time to move to digital books because they make it easy to access key concepts on the run and they save on storage space. More importantly, the number of useful e-books has started to gain critical mass. My only concern is that it looks like each digital format will have its own reader, but that might be a small price to pay for the other benefits.

How many of you are already buying most of your books in e-book format?  Do you make better use of the content because of the format?  Leave a comment, send me a tweet, my id is jgodfrey.


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