Taking Notes – Paper or Keyboard?

  • Pencil and paper (or sometimes pen) - since I'm also virtual taking notes electronically while web-conferencing can be problematic. I prefer electronic if I can, because then I don't have to retype them, just flesh them out with details. And I can email them right away after the meeting if that's necessary. Easy to turn them into action item lists for the team, too.

    For me, notes also serve a historical purpose; we often have clients coming back a year later asking "why did you do it THAT way?" It's nice to have something you can email that essentially says "because you told us to". 😀

    Here there be dragons...,

    Steph Brown

  • Stephanie J Brown (1/31/2012)

    For me, notes also serve a historical purpose; we often have clients coming back a year later asking "why did you do it THAT way?" It's nice to have something you can email that essentially says "because you told us to". 😀


  • Paper & Pen. Allows you to doodle as well as take notes.

    At the NM Museum of Natural History & Science, there is a permanent exhibit of the beginnings of Microsoft (http://startup.nmnaturalhistory.org/[/url]). Bill Gates and Paul Allen’s notebooks are part of the exhibit. We need to keep the hard copies for when we all become famous.

  • Since I can't read by own handwriting, I use electronic means almost exclusively. I use very little paper, anymore.

  • If I'm in a meeting I prefer pen and paper. But then I usually consolidate those into OneNote. If you haven't tried OneNote you really should! I also have used EverNote but was not that impressed.

  • Personally I usually end up having to write up trees, or get a little zany with bullets, or sketch a quick mental diagram, or...

    ... I get tired trying to pull up the necessary softwares. I'll usually just grab my pad and paper, scribe out what I need, and when I get back to the computer translate it into the different documents if I need to share it. If I don't, it just stays in the notebook(s).

    - Craig Farrell

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  • I have converted to the dark side. I use an iPad running iThoughtsHD mind mapping for notes. They get saved in a Dropbox folder on the iPad in Freemind format that syncs to my home PC, home Mac AND my work PC.

  • Usually pen and paper unless the flow of information is controllable (reading a book). Especially leaving gaps to draw arrows to related items. Converted in spare time since the paper get lost sooner or later.

  • Thank you all for the many and varied responses! Glad to know Im not the only one that still uses paper too:-)

    I've got an idea for a follow up, should be interesting.

  • Like many "oldies" on here I use pen and paper to make daily notes, basically because I don't have really have a memory :crazy: and I like to keep track of what I am doing, projects worked on, sql installs, etc. Not that anyone would be able to read my scribbles anyway. :ermm:

    I'm so fussy it's taken me over 10 years to find the pen and paper of my choice but finally nailed it:

    Pad: Oxford A4 spiral notepad Premium 90gsm

    Pen: Uniball Mitsubishi gel impact.

    And if you like to write with a pencil as well: Tombow Mono 100


    [font="Tahoma"]Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. – Carl Jung.[/font]
  • I'm setting up Dokuwiki on a stick to get a handle on this.

    Often I'll take a photo of handwritten notes, or scan them on the multi-function printer.

    I'm a fan of the booklet fold - http://the-room-mom.com/foldable-booklets/

    412-977-3526 call/text

  • I use both paper and keyboard, if it's something I like to track like issue progress it's mostly Excel. If I'm talking design / issue with someone it's most of the time paper, same for building a query, get the relations and columns on paper and then into TSQL if it's something more complex.

    I don't have a tablet I'd use for such things, tried a Surface Pad years ago and hardly used it at all so if it's mobile it's my laptop or pen & paper again.

  • Hi Mike - In your recent newsletter you mentioned "Strangely for a geek I haven’t yet made the leap to OneNote".  Up to several years ago I too kept track of my 'nice to know tips' in Outlook Notes.  Then I discovered the power of OneNote.  OneNote became my repository of SQL templates, DB schema, self-made data dictionaries, etc.  Tabs, Pages, Sub-Pages keeps it manageable and I can instantly search across multiple repositories.  I then discovered it was sharable across multiple users thus all of our operation team got involved with adding knowledge.  It was kind of like a mini, local Wikipedia for our team.  SQL templates were a godsend for productivity of our analysts.  As for using OneNote to record notes during a meeting . . . pen to paper is my habit.

  • OneNote just works fine, however... I have made mistakes in thinking there's nothing much to note in this meeting and didn't open OneNote to take notes, and eventually, as per Murphy's Law, the meetings were later on turned out to be very crucial decision maker. 🙁

  • I use a Leuchtturm notebook and fountain pen for meetings and conversations along with OneNote for code snip-its I like to cut and paste so I can maintain my own code library across development platforms.

    I like using fountain pens because they glide better than ballpoint pens and they always have a cool factor in meetings.  You can also customize the inks so I use a few different colors for different topics.  To me it's just easier to page through a notebook than anything electronic.

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