To all here assembled:
One common tool of any office-based professional is note taking. Of course, we were all supposed to learn this in school, but let's be honest: Who here was taught how to effectively take notes so that they were useful later? I know I wasn't, and informal surveys I've taken over the years show me that very, very few other people were either.
So, who here has a note taking process? And by that, I mean a process that is more than either frantically writing down all s/he hears in an attempt to capture everything, jotting only what you HOPE is important in the order it's presented while praying you didn't ignore or miss anything that turns out to be significant later, or trying to remember everything you hear and jot notes only after the meeting.
I've gotten better over the years, but I'm not happy with my technique yet. My best practice is to re-write notes on important topics later, both to galvanize the contents in my brain and to organize them better for future reference. But I feel that if my process were better up front I could be more effective at this vital process, one I need many times a day.
I'm not talking about a note storage and retrieval system, although I think the two go hand in hand. I'm talking about the up-front part, only the actual creation of the notes.
Mark and Mike, do/could you guys have a podcast on this subject? It's a fundamental technique of business (especially for managers) that I personally feel is poorly done by most people, myself included. (Psst: if you ever do a podcast on this, I would love to hear about notes storage and retrieval as well. I think I do that part pretty well, but I can always improve.)