Walking into work this past Monday, I was greeted with an impromptu meeting request. Having received the new iPad on three days prior, that day was my first real day at work with it.
So one might assume that I would’ve grabbed my iPad and waltzed into the meeting like a badass — right?
Nope. I still brought my good ole spiral-bound grid paper notebook and my trusty pen. Here’s why:
A few months after purchasing the original iPad — back when it was still a rarity — I made the decision to use my iPad during a meeting one day. Never again.
The iPad was extremely disruptive. Whether it was comments like ”Oooh sorry Mr. I-own-an-iPad” or questions regarding to how I’m using it to take notes during the meeting— all eyes were on me.
I could sense the irritation of those who were in charge of the meeting. Everytime I took a note, people would turn their head and stare. Even though they didn’t confront me about the issue, I chose to be respectful for the next meeting and not bring my ”toy” — even though nowadays, other employees bring their iPads into meeting and it has become more commonplace.
I’m an extremely messy note taker. Not only do I lack any structure in my notes, but I also write in a language that looks and sounds like the bastard child of broken English, Latin, Pig Latin, PHP and PASCAL — a language in which I am the only known person alive who can interpret it.
Taking notes in a notebook allows me to pick a random spot on the page and jot down the key ideas behind the topics that are important and relevant to me. With the way I believe my brain works, taking time for formatting and complete sentences will take more of my attention away from the meeting. A meeting in which staying alert and attentive might not be so easy to achieve considering the amount of ”desire” I have in being there.
Now I don’t intend on keeping my chicken scratch notes. As soon as I get back to my desk, I re-type all those notes into Taskpaper on guess what — my iPad. Being alone at my desk allows me to type away without the stares and distraction I received from my curious peers.
Re-typing my notes into becomes advantageous for me for a few reasons:
All the incoherent notes that I just took now have the opportunity to make sense to every one. I translate my notes into clear, grammatically, correct sentences in a legible digital document.
I can categorize the notes into topics, urgency, projects or just about any type of metadata that I can think of. With Taskpaper, dragging and drop re-ordering is easy along with being able to filter out data via search queries.
I honestly cannot think of how many times I lost notes which — of course — were needed later. From Taskpaper, I can send off my notes to Evernote where they will hibernate until called to action.
Course Of Action
For short and urgent projects, I will keep those notes in Taskpaper. However for long-term projects, I will then begin the planning process in OmniFocus using my organized Taskpaper document as the outline.
While I am very excited and overjoyed to be the owner of a new iPad, it still isn’t the perfect “in-meeting” tool for me. However with the way I implement it “post-meeting”, I feel more comfortable with utilizing and acting upon the information I gathered in my notes — despite the redundancy in capturing.