In this day and age I believe I’m supposed to encourage everyone to take all their notes in their Blackberry and save time and create efficiency by storing all notes and data electronically.
Except if I did that I’d be a complete hypocrite. I am an unrepentant note taker.
Taking notes on the computer doesn’t do it for me. It doesn’t set the information in my brain the right way. That’s not the first place I’m going to look for that phone message I took Thursday. To me it actually seems more cumbersome than just picking up a pen.
And you know what? Thats OK. Because being efficient isn’t always about using the latest and greatest technology. Sometimes is just about having a system that actually works without too much redundancy. A great system you won’t actually use is pointless.
I have 3 kinds of notes. Notes I pass back and forth with customers are all emails and are therefore filed under said customer. I have 2 small note pads I keep by my keyboard in 2 different colors. Quick work notes and personal schedule items on one color, household items on another. No confusion. And then there are my post-its.
These are one of the greatest inventions EVER. All sizes, all shapes, all colors, I have a post-it for every purpose. Need to add a note to a paper file? Put it on a post-it and stick it to the file folder, it will not fall out. Need to note the directions or phone number of a new prospect? Stick it on a post-it and stick it to the prospect note book. Leaving a note for someone who isn’t in the office yet? A nice neon color stuck to their computer monitor is likely to get their attention when they arrive, and yet not leave tape residue on the computer. Absolutely must not forget an item of paperwork before a meeting? Leave yourself a post-it on the door-going-out. That little sticky-but-not-too-sticky strip makes these little guys versatile yet dependable in most circumstances.
The simple, low tech tools can still be really valuable.