The idea of surviving without back-breaking bundles of paper fills many barristers with an existential dread. Not me…
I’ve still got a picture of the day my first red-tape-tied bundle arrived. I was grinning like an idiot. I’m sure most of us remember that.
Somehow we get misty-eyed about the rolling suitcases they necessitated as well. About the panic and despair as a wheel breaks at the wrong moment. The frustration as we try to squeeze the second volume of the White Book in alongside the wig tin and blue pad.
And who among us hasn’t wanted to take a sneaky look at how other people tab up their stuff? Whether they have a careful system – or whether the post-it notes are just multi-coloured because their floor in Chambers ran out of the pink ones?
We’re going to have to learn to do without. We were going to have to anyway, given the horrific amount of trees we all murder. But now, working remotely, getting a bundle couriered is going to be a luxury.
Not to mention a potential bug transmission vector…
So the next few posts will probably deal with how to survive and thrive with what some people call “e-bundles”. I loathe the term (the “e-” feels as bad as adding “cyber-” to the front of something. Ouch). I’ll stick to calling it all “the papers”. After all, oldies like me still occasionally call the act of audio recording “taping” something, and even the youthful who’ve never seen a cassette or a VHS know what we’re talking about. I hope they do, anyway.
So over the next couple of days we’ll start looking at
- format, which essentially boils down to why PDF is your friend;
- apps to read and manipulate your PDFs;
- some particular aspects of that manipulation, such as page numbers and combining PDF documents;
- and the elephant in the room, how to make them searchable. Scratchy multiple photocopy in violation of Sedley’s 7th Law, I’m looking at you… We’ll get to how to scan you another day.