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Using Technology for the Greater Good
Scientology Auditor administration fundamentals haven't changed for over forty years. Those fundamentals didn't need to change, and they still don't as they are very workable in their technique. They remained in the analog domain, since in most cases there was no other domain when they were established over fifty years ago.
Within the last two years, all of that has changed. There is now an entirely new domain to reside in for the sake of accuracy, security, and technical proficiency in their application. In part one of our series, we delved into the necessary hardware needed to fulfill the needs of the contemporary auditor. Thankfully, due to the very narrow spectrum of software offered in the Apple app store, choosing what application to use was easy.
But, did any of them have the features a modern auditor needs to make the jump to digital auditor admin worthwhile and justifiable in expense for new gear when paper and ink pens still work just fine? The answer is a resounding yes!
What we've been looking for all these years is an application for a capable iPad and pencil that has PDF annotation, which is the ability to write fluidly atop a PDF document, in tandem with document manipulation, so we can easily shuttle around the modified (now written on) PDF documents that we created in a session. We wanted an all-in-one application that allows us to move documents in front of one another and add in other PDF's like correction lists and L and N lists as necessary, as well as put them together in the PC/Pre-OT's folder along with the program, grade chart, folder summary, and so on.
We've had all the Scientology source materials in PDF format for decades, and if we don't have one, it can easily be made in a litany of applications from the reference material we have and then imported into an iPad Pro and used in session.
A Binary Option
After thorough research in the iOS App Store, and many demos using a handful of contenders, we settled on two applications that would best suit our needs in session. The apps we tested were Noteshelf 2, Goodnotes 5, and Notability. Notability didn't have all the features necessary to make it into the running for use in auditing, but that could change soon with a future update. You can sign up for their email list by clicking on the Notability link above.
Each of our two finalists handles the output of your handwriting a little bit differently as far as the "feel" of the writing. It is a good idea to purchase both applications and try them out for yourself to decide which suits you better. You may find your workflow leans in the direction of one app more fluidly than the other.
Both Noteshelf and Goodnotes get the job done and are the only contenders for use in an auditing session due to their inherent abilities as applications for this type of document manipulation and production. Though, to be fair, the subtle differences in features, functionality, and method of achieving the same tasks between the two may not be enough to sway the auditor one way or another. It may just come down to which one you become familiar with first.
In our case, we settled on Noteshelf 2 after careful use and deliberation. We found Noteshelf 2 to have a few more features than Good Notes 5, but the core feature sets one relies on for session from day to day are virtually the same otherwise.
For an in depth look at the features of both applications side by side, Paperlessmovement.com is your best bet. It has a great comparative chart of both applications in an easy to use format. For features used in auditing specifically, the details follow.
One of the unique all-in-one features both applications have is to record audio while in session in real time. This ability is great to have with each session, especially for interns auditing others. That way you can compare what he or she is writing to what is happening in audio throughout the session.
This way the Case Supervisor knows the student auditor is transcribing the session, truthfully and adequately, as it progresses. This is a huge verification to have with any student auditor early on, as any Case Supervisor can attest.
This feature increases the file size of any given session markedly, so allow for that when considering what size of storage and back up storage is required. The auditor can also transcribe the audio into an additional PDF document by both applications for the PC/Pre-OT folder after a session, if needed. Using this feature is very helpful for those "What did the auditor do?" situations.
Digital Auditor Administration Basics
(Editors note: Next week, in part three of this series, we will be doing a video of the entire protocol for setting up a digital session in more detail than permitted here, to give proper mass and significance.)
There are a few essential documents that an auditor uses with every session. Once these documents are imported into the file folder of your iPad Pro, duplicating them into every session takes but a moment. All of the necessary documents are provided in the Qual Library here on the AOGP website and they can be downloaded straight to your iPad for instant use in the session from the link. Printing off auditor report forms, correction lists, grade process sheets, handwriting a session cover sheet for every session, and fumbling through the folder admin to get to the folder summary are things of the past.
Once the master documents are in your file folder on your iPad Pro, you can create a new document using the "plus" sign found at top right in both Goodnotes and Noteshelf. What you are doing is merely creating a copy of the cover sheet, exam form, and auditors report form you are going to be using, per the auditor admin series, into a new session and then using PDF markup on a virtual copy of it. Although, you won't be filling these forms out until after the session, you have to create them there first.
Once you have added the initial admin forms, create a blank page and start a new "page one session worksheet" just as you would on foolscap paper. After starting the session, if you need a new blank page to continue, slide the filled out worksheet horizontally (in Noteshelf ) or vertically (in Goodnotes). Each app does this differently.
If you need to change pen colors on the fly, select a different color at the top of your auditing worksheet as you write. To change back, select your original color once more. Erasing anything written is achieved by tapping the Apple Pencil twice with your index finger, then erase what you need. Tap it twice again to return to writing regularly. It's that easy.
Doing this is not possible with an ink pen and paper. This saves auditor admin time after session since you don't have to go back and markup mistakes in writing with a red pen later. Though that can be quickly done after the session when needed.
If you need a correction list during the session, it can be imported into the real-time session and used just as you would normally. Just be sure to have all of your correction lists in your iPad Pro's file folder before the session, so they are ready for import as needed. Those are available in our Qual Library also.
Simplicity is the Norm
You don't have to save the session once the session documents are filled out and corrections have been made. It is saved moment by moment on your iPad. Plus, if you have toggled "saving your sessions to the cloud" in the preferences menu, the session is now on the cloud service of your choice, as well as in the PC/Pre-OT's folder. Therefore, you have a backup if ever needed.
There are several cloud service options offered in both applications. You can also save your sessions to your laptop or desktop from the iPad Pro if you wish to avoid using cloud services altogether.
Your session is now complete and ready to be emailed to your C/S of choice, without the tedious task of scanning the session, or it can be just stored in the digital folder until the next time.
It's that simple...all with a stroke of the digital pencil.
Once you have established what application best suits your needs and workflow pattern, and have your master documents in place on the iPad Pro, you may forget that you are using an iPad altogether. Your session admin is quicker and more secure; handwriting cleanup and recognition is at your disposal, all in the digital domain.
Auditing digitally is a far more accurate method of communication for you the auditor and your Case Supervisor. Ultimately, this equals faster, better, and more effective case gain per hour for your PC, Pre-OT, or yourself as a Solo auditor.