In addition to using your notebook as described yesterday, create a second function by starting in the BACK of your notebook working forward.  In this section, I dedicate one page for each employee I supervise and committee I am on.  I use these pages to keep a running agenda of things I need to discuss with the person/group during the next time I meet.

Where the synergy develops is when I am in one meeting and something is said that I need to tell one of my employees (or my boss).  I can instantly turn to that page in the back (of the same notebook I am using to take meeting notes) and write that I need to discuss the item with that person.  No forgetting, no time spent developing meeting agendas — it just naturally evolves.

This back section also works beautifully when it comes time to do employee evaluations.  I have a whole record of things we discussed over the whole year, not just what I remember from recent meetings.  After I do an evaluation, I just draw a line across the page and I know where to start for the next review period.  When my employees use this system too (as many do!), they too have a record of what accomplishments and issues evolved during the year.  

I put a piece of light cardboard at the start of the back section and keep an index of the pages (which I number by hand).  When someone’s page fills up, I simply continue their list on the next free page in the back section and renumber their page on my index.  (See picture).

So I keep working notes front to back and write agenda/discussion items back to front — but with everything work-related in one single notebook.  You too can reap the benefits of organizational simplicity with this system!

Final thoughts on this process tomorrow.

— beth triplett

I start in alphabetical order, but you can see it doesn’t always stay that way!

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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