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!

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