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Note keeping – a hybrid approach

Notes - by INPIVIC Family - CC Attribution 2.0 Generic
Notes – by INPIVIC Family – CC Attribution 2.0 Generic

A productivity topic I always work on, is note keeping. One of the basic questions is ubiquitous: analog or digital notes? While I like Evernote a lot (I’m using it since years), I also like taking notes in a classic notebook. Inspired by Andy Brands article I decided to use the Quo Vadis Notebooks. But I also use a Moleskine 18 month calendar to track time planned things.

Pro digital note keeping

  • Ubiquitous access with any device at any time
  • Is “never” full
  • Is searchable

Pro analog note keeping

  • Unlimited styles of notes: drawings, decoration
  • Simple: Pen & Paper and here you go

So what to do?

A hybrid approach on note keeping

I use my notebook to take notes while in meetings. But I also use Evernote while in meetings. First of all it depends on the sensivity of information. Most business relevant notes are too critical to store in Evernote. Also most technical workshops or discussions need diagrams. So it is useful to use the analog notebook. I use the camera to digitize and store it in a safe way (encrypted).

I use my analog calendar to keep track of goals, important dates like trade fairs etc.for project planning. I like it to keep the focus on it. A clean desk and just the Moleskine calendar.

I use templates for quick an easy organize notes. I have a separate notebook in Evernote called template. I use “copy to notebook” to create new notes and start note keeping. Every morning I go through the day and check my goals for the day. It jump started my productivity.

Note keeping digital: Template for Cornell styleNote keeping digital: Template for repeating meetings

I use Evernote Photo function to digitalize notes worth keeping. The Evernote OCR is doing a great job and enables search in photos. I use Evernote to clip Websites, RSS Reader Items, etc. It has great Chrome Plugins and also works well in iOS. The connection to the digital world is perfect. Same for storing files like Images or Excel is easy, for PDFs there is also a way to annotate it.

Takes about hybrid note keeping

Beside of my marked preference for writing on high quality paper, analog notebooks have unlimited ways of writing in a quick and easy manner. The digital world has its advantages in ubiquitous access and ability to search. So writing by hand or digital and storing digital is the perfect approach for me.