Take Note: Do Tablets Make Us Appear More Productive In Meetings?

(By Sean Blanda)

You’d make better use of your time if you took your notes in digital form, ideally in an access-anywhere digital notebook like Evernote that makes retrieval a snap. If you had that, I could shoot you the link of the book I want you to read, or the contact card of the person you want to meet. And if you planned to act any of the ideas or outcomes from this meeting, you would want to pop the follow-up tasks into your task management program.

You’re hosting a meeting. Once it gets started, you notice everyone taking out their note-taking device of choice. A bevy of tablet devices and smartphones are placed on the table. And, of course, some people prefer to stick to old fashioned pen and paper. Most of us probably don’t think twice and continue with the meeting.

In the Harvard Business Review, Alexandra Samuel somewhat controversially suggests that those who rely on analog note-taking methods should be scorned.

I knew right away, when you walked in here with a paper notebook — a paper notebook! — I realized that this meeting was not going to be a good use of our time.

You’d make better use of your time if you took your notes in digital form, ideally in an access-anywhere digital notebook like Evernote that makes retrieval a snap. If you had that, I could shoot you the link of the book I want you to read, or the contact card of the person you want to meet. And if you planned to act any of the ideas or outcomes from this meeting, you would want to pop the follow-up tasks into your task management program.

Unless you reserve 20 minutes after each meeting to transcribe your notes and enter your follow-up tasks, however, most of this meeting’s value will slip like sand through a sieve. And if you’re taking 20 minutes to transcribe each meeting, you’re losing several hours per week of productive work time.

The majority of the article’s commenters disagree:

“Spending an extra 20 minutes transcribing is 20 extra minutes reviewing the notes in greater detail.”

“I knew right away, when I read this piece of snobbery — snobbery! — I realized that this article was not going to be a good use of my time.”

“Which is more distracting? The clicking of your keyboard as you take notes or the silence of my pen as it glides across my paper?”

Do you agree with Samuel’s take here?

(Source: Openforum)

“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”

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