Meeting Notes & Project Management
I have a fail safe system using NirvanaHQ to manage next actions but am looking for better ways to keep project and meeting notes.
I used to walk into meetings with paper and pen and took lots of notes (former training as a journalist) which would then be filed according to the project and next actions would go into Nirvana. But sometimes I'd be away from my office and wished I would have brought a different folder when something came up that we had previously dealt with on another project.
I then moved from paper to OneNote which required my to bring my laptop everywhere. That system worked great except our work culture is not all that embracing of laptops at meetings. There were previous abuses.
So about 3 months ago I started to experiment with EverNote. I moved all my notes there and bring my iPad to meetings so I have all of my background and notes accessible to me. No one seems to mind that. But I have problems with typing on the keypad and typing on an iPad raises the same eyebrows as a laptop. Lately, I've been taking new notes on paper and later transferring them to Evernote. That's time consuming and I fall behind during busy times.
I have to make some choices but would love to hear what others are doing. Thanks.
How Do You Keep Your Notes??
Thanks to everyone for your interesting and helpful posts. I'm still interested in how others handle this
Notes from meetings ideas using Outlook and Follow Up Flags. No longer use Tasks
To add to your excellent comments,
1. When the meeting is completed, I immediately go to my office and send to my CPA tax, accounting or CFP client an email summary of the meeting using Outlook. I like your idea of showing arrows for those items who need follow up actions.
2. If at all possible, before the client leaves, I prepare a summary email incuding all or some of the 5 journalism questions: Who, what, why, when and where. I number the key points in my email. OR,
3. I send myself an email using Outlook:
A. I sort many emails by subject so I make sure that the subject will be easy to find. I priortize with the last name, first initial of the client and if there is a business name, I abbreviate the business name.
For demonstration purposes, let us use the name of John Doe, President of Doe Dental Clinic. I would type into the Subject row, Doe, J DDC reduce taxes depreciation.
B. I list the objective as briefly as I can. In the above example, I am using depreciation as a key word because I have ideas on how to reduce the taxes by taking advantage of the flexible depreciation rules.
C. I color coded what my next action is or who is responsible for getting me information so I can then take the next action. Outlook uses the word "category" to allow people to sort by what David Allen in GTD calls Context.
For example, I have Outlook shortcut keys and colors for context (telephone call F4, computer F5 , desk F6, Waiting For F7, meeting F8, key person's name F1, F2, F3). For example if Mark C is responsbile for getting a tax plan to me by September 1 (I promised client a deadline of September 2nd or 3rd), I might show a due date of August 31st because Outlook will show this follow up as over due on September 1. I use F2 (Mark C)to indentify that I need Mark's help. The color to indicate that I need Mark's help is a dark blue color. If my next action is a call, then I would also include color code for a call.
D. I use the due date feature sort in Outlook for followups. It is easy to sort by due date.
If a follow up is needed beyond 90 days, I copy the relevant email directly to the calendar without showing a specific time. Jeffrey Brooks, CPA, CFP, MBA