Mark & Mike, I have been doing formal one-on-ones for several years but have recently gone back and listened to the O3 'casts. As a self-proclaimed techie geek who loves his gadgets (as Mark and Mike do) I was relieved to hear that others have also struggled with the paper vs. electronic one-on-one notes battle.
I recently gave myself permission to return to the paper method and have found that my one-on-ones are more productive!!!
Some time ago, I also adopted Mark's "How are you overall?" question... scheduled to ask the first one-on-one of the month. After asking for a few months I have found this question to be very valuable.
Many years ago, one of my managers ended every one-one-one with the same two questions and I have been doing it as well with much success.
What can I do more of?
What can I do less of?
When a new person joins my team I commit to them that I am going to ask these two questions every week and, inevitably, the first few times I ask I get no response, but after a month or so of one-on-ones I actually start to get good feedback.