Saturday, March 28, 2020

Stay HOME – Learn BIM: Day 3


The day-counting in the title is per NZ lockdown.
And it is weekend here, so not a lot of work from home probably going on.

I know, that my focus on the elimination ‘the paper’ from construction can seem a bit over the top and pointless. Also a bit low-key for a ‘BIM expert’.
What harm is in having a personal notebook, printing large scale drawings for mark-ups, having a 500-page specification bound in a folder for site works?
There is some cost in printing, yes, but in the scheme of things, it is negligible.

Over the last 10 years I wrote many posts in this blog explaining why it is not good for individuals to carry on using paper in construction (AEC) and why is its continuing availability making any meaningful development of the industry virtually (or literarily?) impossible.

So, if you still need to be convinced that ditching the paper is a good idea, you’ll have to go back in my writings or do your own research. Or just carry on with standard paper-based practices.
But if you think it is worth giving it a go, these ‘unprecedented’ times could be just the right trigger for giving it a decent chance.

There are various theories out there on how long it should take to build/break a habit.
My experience – you really need to ‘want to’ do so – then – time is sort of irrelevant.

I mentioned ‘Word’ yesterday as a simple replacement for a paper-based notebook. Almost everyone uses the program (or something similar).
For notetaking there are 3 commands, I’d like to emphasize:
Page-breaks, bookmarks and links – These 3, coupled with search functions will provide the functionalities of a well-organized notebook in digital format.
Write as you would in a standard notebook (I’ll get to sketching and scribbling later) – heading your notes with dates, subject or other titles.
Use book-marks to distinguish between parts (per day or per topic) and link all bookmarks up at the beginning of the file.

Using book-marks is important with PDFs as well.

In early days of habit-braking, one still has the urge to print everything off.
Decades worth of history will not easily go away. You will get frustrated with the size/shape/clarity of screens (no matter how big or interactive they are); You’ll feel that your brain is hostage to your hands (doodling while thinking) – so go easy on yourself.

One day at the time.
Start the Notebook Word file, don’t print PDFs, look at them on screens – add bookmarks for easier reference, if the document is not already structured.

The exercise may make you feel old and clumsy.
Key is in persistence.

When you want to write down quick reminders – don’t use post-it notes (unless they are digital) – reminder apps on phones are good way to jot down short instructions to oneself.

(picture below from my architectural office, about 18 years ago)



1 comment:

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