IT'S been nine months since Queanbeyan City Councillors adopted the use of iPads as their primary means of communication and deputy mayor Peter Bray said he's slowly but surely getting his head about the machine.
"I'm constantly getting myself into a bit of a bind and then going and getting some help. They're good, the staff knows all about this machine," he said.
"I have a cheat sheet with instructions, it's about remembering the sequence to access information. You have to tap twice here and scroll down to that there."
While, Cr Bray is "running dual" - using his iPad in conjunction with a hard copy of the council agenda - he said overall he's found the tablet to be quite useful.
"I won't stop [using the hard copy agenda] until I feel fully confident with the iPad. Some councillors have discarded paper altogether, others are in the early stages and I'm somewhere in the middle I suspect.
"I've found already that a couple of things have happened [since using the iPad], one is that the amount of paper-based information distributed to me has dropped by 90 per cent," he said.
"I don't have to come down as often to check the boxes [at the council chambers] ... I can look at it and action information in a quicker timeframe."
The iPads have been rolled out to all councillors and senior staff and managers.
General manager Gary Chapman said since the devices have been integrated into the workplace gone are the days of the office photocopier "running hot".
"Councillors are enjoying the iPads, even though some may not be savvy, they're working hard to get their knowledge up. There's training and IT assistance available.
"Across the board it's been a good result ... it really is a tool of the trade. The old days of printing on reams and reams of paper doesn't exist. The beauty of it is that we're saving in paper and saving in staff time."
Mr Chapman said personally he found it useful to access work information from home and also the immediacy of communication.
"It's not uncommon to receive an email at 10 o'clock at night, I can reply there and then," he said.
"If I'm out driving and I see there's a problem I can take photo of it and send it to the straight to the staff member in charge."
Queanbeyan City Council adopted an official iPad policy at the ordinary meeting on Wednesday, July 24.
"From an organisation point of view ... you have to be conscious with communication devices these days that people do the right thing," Mr Chapman said.
"The policy is to make sure it is for council usage and they're not visiting the wrong sites. Everything under out network can be tracked."
At the meeting, Cr Judith Burfoot said she didn't want to see an entirely paperless office due to OH and S issues with screens.
"I petition we don't entirely go paperless, as an office worker by day, [using the iPad at night] can put a strain on the eyes."
Cr Sue Whelan said as a long-time councilor the iPad was "by far" the best means of communication.
"It's a lot, lot better than things we've had before. We've been promised computers and mini-computers... so congratulations to staff. I very much appreciate being able to access information and have it instantaneously at our fingertips."