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Which is better? The Physical or electronic version?

The easiest answer isn't obvious. Much depends on your style, and that of whomever will be helping during implementation (your office manager for example), your commitment, and your computer comfort level.

The pros of buying the physical manual are:

  • Starting on paper allows pages to be copied and distributed sooner
  • Ease of navigation (For some people, flipping to a certain page in the manual can be easier than finding a specific file on their computer)
  • Easier to see "the big picture" (and how all the "pieces" fit together)
  • The binder itself is a reminder of work to be done

The cons of buying the physical manual are:

  • Shipping charges (paper is heavy, can be prohibitively so for international orders)
  • Time in transit (sometimes circumstances dictate starting sooner rather than later)
  • While useful for sorting and starting the process, most of the original pages will be discarded as the SOPs are customized and reprinted to reflect how the task is done in your office.
  • Thumbing through the manual can be intimidating as the scope is realized.

The pros of buying the electronic version are:

  • Immediate access (start today)
  • No shipping charges
  • The "greenest" option (print/discard only what you want or need, depending on your workflow)
  • Ease of navigation (For some people, opening a specific file on their computer can be easier than finding a certain page in the manual )

The cons of buying the electronic version are:

  • Files versus paper: can be harder to find specific documents
  • The scope ("big picture") can be harder to see from just files on your screen
  • Pages must be printed prior to distribution
  • Without the binder, it is easier for the project to lapse, being "out of sight" can become "out of mind"

After downloading any of the main manuals (SOPs for All Dentists, SOPs for Pediatric Dentists, Get Paid for Your Services and Standard Marketing Procedures), we recommend that you:

  1. Print/Read the following files:
    1. The main Table of Contents
    2. Chapters 1-3 (or all introductory material preceding the SOPs proper)
  2. Familiarize yourself with the table of contents (section 1 deals with...).
  3. Prior to editing, consider printing that section of the book and placing in a binder.

Of course, the availability of computer review and editing resources, the technical abilities of your team, and the degree of "paperlessness" to which you are committed can influence your workflow.

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