Pretty much everyone I’ve ever worked with uses a bound notebook that they dutifully take to every meeting and that contains notes from every meeting they’ve been to and which through they can easily flip to a needed note exactly when needed in a subsequent meeting. I, however, have never done this, preferring to write notes on random scraps of paper, which I then file in a folder for a given project, resulting in a very full file drawer, which, of course, I don’t have with me at meetings. I’ve also half-assedly experimented with various to-do list type apps and never quite settled on any one method that I really liked. Plus, I learned from one of my work’s research policy documents that if you discover something patentable, you need to have your notes in a *bound* notebook, not a binder or on random loose pieces of paper. Because you know I’m going to discover somethng patentable any day now. So, I decided that it was about time that I gave this bound notebook thing a try and I ordered a red one, because everyone else has black or blue and I figured it would be easier to not get mine mixed up with someone else’s if I had a red one. And I also figured I’d be less likely to leave it behind at a meeting if it’s brightly coloured than if it’s a subdued colour. Also, red is awesome.
So now I have my little red notebook… but I’m not really sure exactly what people do with this thing. I mean, I figure you write the date and then write some notes and probably indicate which of those notes are “to do” items – basically what I used to write on scraps of paper that would be all disorganized and such, but now it’s all nice and neatly bound and ready for inspection should I develop something patentable. But I feel like I’m missing something. Like all the long-term bound notebook users know some secret thing that makes them 233% more productive than me. So I’m putting it out to all y’all: Are you a takes-bound-notebook-to-meetings type? How do you organize your notebook?