Around this time of year, or on January 1 when people make resolutions, many say “I need to get more organized.” One way to do it is to utilize a notebook system. One of my mentors taught me this when I was first elected to chair a national organization, and I have been using it for the 20 years since.
The notebook system is really two notebooks and a to-do list in one. You can use any notebook, but for some reason the Iqueirius* spiral notebooks seem to be the perfect size. (I know several people who have switched to these and they seem to be the winner even over electronic systems.)
People can use it any way that suits them, but this is my preferred method: Start in the front and keep notes from all your meetings. It comes in so handy to have all your notes in one place. People who take notes and then file them with the appropriate project or committee folders invariably need those notes at another meeting or during a conversation with someone else. Keep it all together and I’ll bet you will be surprised how often you refer back to things. Don’t devote one whole page to a meeting — when your notes end from one topic, just draw a line and move on to the next meeting.
If you have a task or something that requires follow up action from you, make a check box next to it in your notes. You’ll instantly know that you need to do something and it won’t get lost when filed away in a folder, etc. Thus your notes become a running to-do list — and since you will get in the habit of carrying your notebook with you, you’ll have many opportunities to see the unchecked boxes as a trigger to get things done.
More tomorrow on Part 2 that really makes the magic of synergy occur.
Notebooks: www.miqueirius.com Made in Spain Item #42237 4-subject notebook 6×8 Assrt Clr Ruled UPC: 8-422593-422373 Available at most Barnes & Noble stores and at some larger Target stores
Sample page from one of my notebooks: