My husband once bought a replacement thermostat for our house. The instructions said, “Installs with just a screwdriver in about 20 minutes.” 36 hours, one blown circuit, and a $145 service call later, he had our new thermostat working just fine. In theory, the screwdriver really was the right tool for the job. But sometimes small jobs become bigger and more complex. So what does a screwdriver have to do with PDF editing?
Have you ever wanted better tools to help you get your job done? More flexible and adaptable tools that would help you work all the way through a challenge, and not just pick away at the edges?
I once led a product team where much of my time was spent reviewing PDF docs from contracts, RFP questionnaires, and draft collateral. To review those PDFs, I would:
- Copy the text of the PDF
- Paste it into Notepad to clean up the formatting
- Copy it again
- Paste it into a Word document
- Switch on Redline mode
- Begin making my edits
- Write an email to the originator, attaching the redlined document with additional comments
I could have done this more efficiently with a simple PDF editing tool. What a great light-bulb moment that was for me: I’ll just eliminate steps 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 – every single time I need to edit a PDF. (Which is every single time I receive a PDF.) But, “no,” I was told. “Those licenses are too expensive. Make do.”
I’ll admit, I was frustrated. It’s easy to keep track of the cost of software licenses. But does anyone keep track of what my time is worth? Is it possible that saving me time can save more for my company, for a tool I would use virtually every day? After email and PowerPoint, PDF is my 3rd most-used application, yet a simple tool upgrade that would unlock more of my hard-pressed time wasn’t worth the cost.
We, the workers, should be empowered by our technology. Not shackled to it. And good technologies should be democratized so we can all access them. A PDF tool that enables editing and commenting directly in the document for more efficient review cycles doesn’t seem like too much to ask. How about one that automatically incorporates itself into workflows and automatically routes itself to be saved in 3rd party locations? And one that enables digital signatures, so a PDF can be reviewed and signed off on from the same application? And costs much less than the leading brand of PDF tool?
We can all do better: more work in less time. We just need the right tools for the right jobs—and tools that adapt are even better. They’re out there, workers. Go for them!