If nobody writes it down, then it never really happened… Recall of details is not one of my strengths – being aware of your “development” areas is more important than being good at everything!
Keeping good notes from meetings was always a bit of stretch for me. I tried lots of different things to keep track of what was agreed, what needed to be done, and information shared. It can be also challenging to maintain the motivation to actually put pen to paper! When I was a shelf stacker (account / sales person) we were all given Apple Laptops and I kept notes from each and every meeting using a contact management program called “Act”. They “upgraded” the program to the point where I didn’t like it anymore – so I had to find another way to keep notes.
I can’t quite remember when I first purchased a Moleskine notebook. Having a slight stationary fetish (who doesn’t love walking into an Officeworks store??!!), I instantly fell in love with it. The leather (hmmm, might or might not actually be leather, but feels great in your hands!) binding holds together beautifully smooth and heavy weight note paper that has a reassuring buff colour to it.
Once you have a pen like this in your hand :
It is virtually impossible to resist the urge to take notes… It certainly helped me overcome my minute taking resistance. I take a Moleskine to almost every meeting I attend. Sometimes it doesn’t get opened, but it is always there.
My only wish is that my handwriting was a better match for the relative sophistication of the notebook! My handwriting is pretty bad these days…
I also use separate notebooks for photography, writing in general (when I have had a crack at Nanowrimo) and when I was a knitter! There is something compelling about the tactile nature of writing. Something that is very analogue. Laptops are great tools, but run out of power, are heavy, and expensive. Having a notebook handy also lends itself to being able to instantly demonstrate an idea via a diagram or chart.
I keep all my old notebooks – writing the dates on the side of the spine. I occasionally still reference things from years ago, and having the books there is a great record of different things.