Originally published on 29 Jan 2007 as “Monday Methodology: Taking Notes At Meetings.”
I am a good note-taker. I am a bad transcriptionist.
When it falls on me to take my notes and get them out, I have always had a problem. I just never got around to typing them in. Recently, I found a way around this problem.
I belong to an environmental action group, where, in an effort to limit the bureaucracy, our formal structure is limited to only two “co-conveners”. As one of those conveners, taking the minutes fall to me. I take minutes not as a record of what we did, but an a source of information for those of our members who have missed the meetings.
If I take notes in my trusty notebook, the notes are sure to stay there, sometimes for a month or more, before I type them up and post them. So I began to think of ways that I could write these minutes up as they occurred,and not have to transcribe them later onto my PC. Bringing my laptop was always an option, but I prefer not to do that because of the inconvenience of adding another bag onto what I am already carrying.
Last week my eye fell on my Palm keyboard. I had originally purchased it to help me through NaNoWriMo, and I wrote many pages of my novel during lunches using it. So last week it came with me to the meeting, and I took notes as the meeting was happening.
The most wonderful thing happened. When my to-do list said “Post the minutes”, I had the file already on my PC via Hotsynch. A few little edits, and the minutes were ready to go.