Home > Articles

Usage Scenarios

This chapter is from the book

The Home Inspector

Home inspectors must take lots of notes in order to provide value to their clients. One of the problems has always been taking notes in the field and then transcribing them back at the office—until now.


  • Convertible style Tablet PC—This style of Tablet PC is ideal for high text demands.

  • Digital voice recorder—The home inspector can use this to dictate notes.

  • Dragon Naturally Speaking—This program is perfect for higher-quality speech recognition.

  • Bluetooth adapter—This is necessary for data communication with other Bluetooth-enabled devices.

  • Digital camera with Bluetooth—This can be used to document findings.

  • FranklinCovey TabletPlanner—This program is used for time and task management.

  • Microsoft Office 2003—The home inspector uses this to prepare documents and email.

  • Adobe Photoshop Elements—This program can be used for basic photo manipulation.

  • Mi-Forms—This program is for data capture.

  • Microsoft Visio—This program is ideal for generating floor plans on the fly.

  • Windows Journal—This program is ideal for taking notes and sketching ideas.

Value Proposition

Due to the nature of the job, the home inspector is constantly out of the office. In the past, even small laptop computers needed to be set down somewhere before they could be used to enter information; lugging one around did not make sense. The Tablet PC changes all that. Now the home inspector has a tool that can be carried almost everywhere, and can replace the clipboard, the voice recorder, and the calculator.

Day in the Life

The home inspector has two inspections due today, and downloads maps for each onto his Tablet PC. He reads over the notes from the real estate agent who hired him for the inspections, and prepares the background material for each.

Opening Mi-Forms, he enters as much information as he has about the location, does some background research into the neighborhood and comparable properties, and enters that information into Mi-Forms as well.

He takes his Tablet PC and drives to the house, where he meets the prospective homeowners and their real estate agent, informs them of the background information he discovered in his pre-inspection, and then gets to work.

He picks up his digital voice recorder and walks around the house, dictating notes that will be automatically transcribed by his Tablet PC when he synchronizes the two. Because the voice files are stored digitally, he can run the sound file through voice recognition later, correcting anything he needs to.

While he walks through the house measuring and dictating, he takes pictures with his digital camera. When he gets back to where he left the Tablet PC running, he downloads the pictures through his Bluetooth wireless connection. While the files are downloading, he processes the voice files and ensures that the measurements are accurate.

He then walks through the house quickly, Tablet PC in hand, to sketch the basic floor plan. He inserts his drawing from Windows Journal into Visio and overlays the sketch with a more refined drawing using Visio's basic architectural tools. All told, he spends about 20 minutes doing this.

When finished inside the house, he takes his Tablet PC outside and begins taking pictures and making notes in Mi-Forms. Because his camera and Tablet PC are in close proximity, the Bluetooth connection is active, and the files from the digital camera are automatically displayed on his Tablet PC screen.

When he finishes the house inspection, he enters most of the data into his Mi-Forms inspection form, where the data can be automatically massaged and fed into a report for the client. He reviews his findings and clarifies any ambiguous notes. All the information ends up in Mi-Forms.

The pictures he took are fed into Photoshop Elements, where they are cleaned up with a few taps of the pen, and annotations are made to identify points of interest. The pen makes this process quicker. The pictures are then linked with Mi-Forms data elements so that the report can be generated quickly. Although the entire inspection was done with just a modicum of time savings, his report is all but complete when he leaves the house, potentially saving hours of time back in the office. All he has to do is cross-check his facts and clarify recommendations, then email the report to the client.

He does the same work with the second inspection, and when he returns to the office, he returns a few phone calls, opens his Mi-Forms application, and generates the inspection reports for each property. He double-checks the accuracy, digitally signs the documents, and emails them to the client.

Summary of Benefits



Speech input

Allows for text input while the user does other things

Bluetooth adapter

Allows wireless connectivity

Digital camera with Bluetooth

Enables instant visual documentation

Cordless headset

Enables users to roam free

Microsoft Office 2003

Aids in inspection-report creation


Allows for forms-based information entry

FranklinCovey TabletPlanner

Keeps life organized

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020