Gmail Paper::Paper files tracking system

Gmail is celebrating 2007 all fools day with the release of the Gmail Paper ‘feature’. It is funny. Working with paper files is integral part of many peoples daily work ritual.

For those inundated with paper files ( Gmail paper files or otherwise) I have a solution that makes paper file tracking easy. Paper file loss is a serious problem for organizations that has processes based on paper files. Much of Government of India and Indian State Governments and public sector organizations and some private organizations fall in this category. And for them a file getting lost just when it is needed the most is not a funny situation.

The Paper File Tracking technology developed is for real and working. The most interesting aspect of the file tracking system is the production process of the electronic tag. It combines craft with (hi)technology.The tag making is so simple that anyone who understands how to connect a light bulb will be able to understand it, assimilate it and incorporate the technology in their craft.
A picture of the craft based tag along with folder integrated with the tag is shown in the photo below. Yes it uses Zari( conductive patterns used in Indian dresses) to connect a tiny 1-wire chip of Dallas Semiconductor/Maxim as a flex circuit.

Carft based Paper File Tag

On one hand the paper file tracking system solves the pain point of enterprise enhancing their productivity( = prosperity) and on the other hand artisans and craftsmen produce it. Since the product produced is technology based and useful, they realize a better profit for their efforts. Thereby creating prosperity for them. Thus the file tracking creates prosperity at both the supply and the demand side of the equation. There are some intangible benefits too: significant reduction in work place stress associated with a paper file loss( imagine boss shouting and the team members searching in vain) at the enterprise level. And the artisans and carftsmen get included in the technology mainstream. Remember we are able to use the computer, internet, gamil and appreciate gmail paper spoof mainly because we got exposed to the technology part of our livelihood. The artisans and craftsmen will get the opportunity through this initiative.The technology is going to be opensourced to facilitate easy adoption.

Here is small writeup on the paper file tracking system.
An file tracking offering by 3M costs a whopping $50K to get started. And it requires all the files to be tagged just to get started. My file tracking system costs just a minuscule fraction of it and delivers a better solution. And all files need not be tagged!

On the topic of google, the paper file tracking sends out notification using RSS and thus Google desktop compatible. An executive wanting to know the movement of a file can get notifications as the file moves. He/she might do it sitting at a remote desktop perhaps in a different city. This has immense implication in bringing in transparency and better usability in governance and egovernance.

For further details and serious discussion please buzz me: labsji at gmail
( The electronic version please 🙂 !

About labsji

I blog, Therefore I exist ! Funny things are funny to me. Cool things are cool to me. Innovations tick me. I attempt spirituality religiously :)
This entry was posted in gmail paper, humour, inclusive development, Innovation as equity enabler, papef file tracking, paper file tracking system, technology as innovation enabler and equity enabler. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Gmail Paper::Paper files tracking system

  1. krishna says:

    Balaji,

    Your work is impressive. Except for Govt. offices (GO), I can hardly think of another where these are still in currency.

    In a GO, paper files are hidden on purpose and resurface only when `processes’ are completed – and to them your solution is an anathema. It’ll cut down `lifeline’ of the peddlers and middlemen who thrive on that – they won’t let you come anywhere within a mile radius.

    In case if you’re wondering why your product isn’t taking off, I think I just solved it for you !

  2. labsji says:

    Dear Krishna,
    That was the most educated comment ever on the blog.
    Yes the paper file tracking is targeted towards the government sector. It is a huge and there is a certain level of predictability.
    In my experience, your stereotype of GO run fully by peddlers and middleman is not true.
    There are enough places where the paper file tracking is relevant and where it does not disturb the existing power plays.
    Eventually it will percolate into the middleman and peddlers ground and that is the idea anyway!
    And the middlemen also needs to get sophisticated and find files fast. So they will love the product when it gets there.

    On scope for the product outside the government sector, Insurance is one area where paper co exists with computer applications. Hospitals is another area where paper/paper like artifacts coexists with computer applications.
    As long as printers/copiers exists, and as long as papers have a life between printers to shredder there is scope for paper file tracking.
    I am wary of people who want to enlarge my scope and dilute my focus. I will be more open to a critic who starts the conversation with : Hey this is applicable in a very narrow situation in the passport office- have you considered it?

    Thanks Krishna Mony Balasubramoniam for solving my non-existent problem. I wish your consulting clients all the very best for getting themselves a quick draw problem solver.

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