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  • Primary capture ...

    All,

    I've being GTD'ing for a couple of months now and really enjoy both the simplicity and the results that the system has shown.

    However - I'm still not entirely happy about one bit of my workflow. I work as a consultant and am constantly in and out of meetings. When I'm at my desk I work well with Outlook syncing to my Palm (Datebk6) and am great at picking NAs etc from there. I use my Palm when I'm not at my desk to get the things that I need to be doing (e.g. errands and calls).

    However I'm still not happy with how I capture the actions in the heat of a meeting - paper, exercise book, Microsoft OneNote - since tapping into my Palm in a meeting is not fast enough.

    I'd love to hear what you all think ... ???

    Thanks - Jonathan.

  • #2
    I use, mostly, a Moleskine small reporter's notebook to capture notes at meetings. Most of the time that's sufficient, and unobtrusive as everyone else is doing the same. At other times I'll use my Macbook with Notebook running on it to take notes. I'd prefer to work with the laptop all the time, but at present it's just not practical for me.

    I've reached this situation after trying just about every method of taking notes you can imagine over many years. The answer (and this is the hard part) is to keep it simple, and in one place.

    Comment


    • #3
      Why exactly are you not happy?

      Originally posted by jsturtridge
      However I'm still not happy with how I capture the actions in the heat of a meeting - paper, exercise book, Microsoft OneNote - since tapping into my Palm in a meeting is not fast enough.
      Why exactly are you not happy? Many people use paper to capture information and then they convert the notes to a digital form.

      Comment


      • #4
        It just seems to be contrary to the "touch it once - and once only" maxim ...

        Comment


        • #5
          paper; however, how you process it is key (naturally)

          Hi Jonathan. I use a plain old legal pad, or my UCT (small note pad in my paper planner). Like the Moleskine, it's very fast, unobtrusive, doesn't need batteries, etc. (You may enjoy the old IsAnythingBetterThanPaper article.) If you're interested, I wrote a bit about meeting notes in Dealing with Meeting Notes - GTD to the Rescue!. The basic idea is to take your usual notes, mark actionable items (e.g., a star, a circled "A"), then process and organize the notes later using your GTD workflow. During the heat of the meeting, you probably don't want to mess with trying to capture actionable items directly into your system. What delighted me was that, after adopting Allen's work, I was able to toss many of my meeting notes once I "harvested" the actionable items.

          Hope that helps!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by jsturtridge
            It just seems to be contrary to the "touch it once - and once only" maxim ...
            "Touch it once" is an ideal goal that we work towards. Our world is not ideal.

            GTD is relentlessly practical. If something's not working, fix it, even if the fix is ugly. Better to have an ugly fix now than an elegant fix a month from now (because by then, things will have shifted enough that the elegant fix won't work anyway).

            At my job, I carry around index cards (a Hipster PDA), and use those to take notes in meetings. They go into my inbox for processing.

            Comment


            • #7
              Try Evernote (http://www.evernote.com/en/ ).

              Search for other posts on this site for more info.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jsturtridge
                It just seems to be contrary to the "touch it once - and once only" maxim ...
                In my mind, and my system, "touch it once" only applies to processing. You pick up a note or whatever, and decide RIGHT THEN where it is going to live in your system.

                Collection can happen anytime and anywhere. I carry blank 3x5s in my pocket for collection "on the go". Then I drop them in my Inbox and process them either that evening or the next morning.

                Michael

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jsturtridge
                  It just seems to be contrary to the "touch it once - and once only" maxim ...
                  Actually with GTD you touch it up to FIVE times. First, you collect it, then process, organize, review and do. The maxim would apply to each of those five steps (actually you may review it several times if it sits on your list for a while.)

                  You collect it on paper and then organize it electronically. It is actually a very good way to do it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I find a note pad and pen the preferred option for capturing notes in meetings. The key is not to capture all the words, only the key points and if possible only those points that affect you directly.

                    Generally, with capture I go for a mind map approach. Topic in the center, with points and thoughts moving out. An alternative, is the "cornell" note taking style. As an aside, I've often thought of combing mind mapping with cornell ... that way I can get a jump on the processing. Though it does mean taking a minute at the end of the meeting and scanning the map for key points that are them transferred to the summary section. Which brings up the issue of the # of times you touch an item before it's acted upon .... which I have read (forget where) is up-to 9X.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ReBuild
                      The key is not to capture all the words, only the key points and if possible only those points that affect you directly.
                      That last bit doesn't work for me - most of my meetings I am either collecting data or have to write up notes afterwards... still it pays the bills

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have a similar problem, coupled with a boss who can rattle off a series of instrucitns , inc. some repeats later down the line, so I can find the same item written down more than once.
                        I just use a shorthand pad, highlight in yellow an item that has been transferred to a digital medium. Once a page is finished, throw it away.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jsturtridge
                          However I'm still not happy with how I capture the actions in the heat of a meeting - paper, exercise book, Microsoft OneNote - since tapping into my Palm in a meeting is not fast enough.
                          The best way for me is getting notes and action items during the meeting on a legal pad, then dropping the notes into my inbox. Action items get picked up in a processing run and the original notes from the meeting get filed away. nice and clean

                          I used to work out of exercise books but found it too hard to see the flows of related "stuff" through the course of the book.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I use index cards, mostly...

                            If I'm not where I can write something down, I use the voice record on my Palm Treo 700p. I have a card in my tickler that reminds me to listen to it every day.

                            For the most part I use blank index cards. I decided 3x5's are too small, so I use 4x6's. I have 5x8's that are great for brainstorming. They are easy to carry (just grab a stack before your meeting) and easy to file. Just get LOTS of them so they don't seem scarce, and don't be afraid to write just a little bit on one and then pull out another.

                            Like a previous poster said, I'll scribble on these cards and toss them in my inbox. Later on I will pick them and really decide what they mean to me.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              After processing to a digital form?

                              After you have processed your paper notes to digital form do you always toss the paper or do you file it? I tend to write too many notes that probably aren't relevant, so when I process the to-dos, I usually keep the paper as reference, but I'm starting to think this is taking unnecessary space in my files.

                              Comment

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