Always Take Notes

I am a bit of a dinosaur. I like paper. And I like pen. I use a paper calendar. People send me invites to meetings, personal calendarparticularly my husband, which I find funny since he above all others knows I do not use an electronic calendar, but he continues to keep a Brad, Gail and Family calendar in his phone and presumably in my phone were I to look for it. Like I said, dinosaur.

When I sit down for a telephone or conference call with a client or coworker, first thing I do is title a page with the date and time and who is on the call and then I begin to take notes about everything that is discussed. I do the same with in person meetings, I record just about everything that is said at a meeting. Every idea that is tossed around, every path that is considered whether we choose to take it or not. And I can tell you that my note taking has saved my bacon more than once.

I got into the habit of diligent note taking when I was a realtor® working with developers. There was a woman realtor® who was the most fastidious note taker I had ever met. I admit I pale in comparison to her. She wrote down the content, date and time of every voicemail she received and kept it in her client’s file; she printed every email and her reply and put it in her clientstake diligent notes file; she wrote down the verbiage of every phone conversation she had and put in the client’s file. Everything was dated and time marked. It was really incredible. Then I began to sit on the Ethics committee and Hearing Panels and after a case of two, I more than understood why she was obsessive about her notetaking and recordkeeping.

I learned a lot from her about accountability and not letting things fall through the cracks. I also learned that if you are in the habit of writing everything down and everyone knows you are writing everything down it makes things a lot clearer when there is any kind of dispute or misremembering. When the notes are pulled out EVERYONE can see the flow of the conversation, ideas and the meeting as a whole. Dispute resolved. Bottom line, if it is in writing it is hard to argue with it.Marketing Notes

I know that there are those if you out there who will say “I take notes on everything too, I just do it on my computer or laptop.” Yes, yes, I know. But there is something different about being able to follow the line of thought on a piece of paper and the thought can circle back on its self that you just don’t get from a computer screen. The beauty of the piece of paper is you can follow the evolution of the idea or thought in a more organic way then you can on a computer. Speaking strictly for myself I find it easier to see an entire plan form. When I go back over the notes to put together the proposal, I often think of other ideas based on abandoned thoughts that hadn’t occurred to me at the time because we had moved on to something else. But given more time to marinate the thought had merit after all…sometimes.

In my dinosaur defense, I just want to say that I feel that I catch more in my note with pen and paper then someone else does with a computer, particularly in my business of marketing where we often draw our ideas and sketch out the direction we see a product going, or the layout of a website, etc. I know, there are products out there that will allow me to do all of this and then transfer it into the computer. I am not a hermit, I have seen the technology, but like I said in the beginning, I like paper.Notebook

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