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Notes : I’m back to paper !

After trying few electronics tools to take notes during the day (evernote, workflowy, notepad, …) I’m back to paper !

English: A stack of copy paper.

I’ve tried to stick to evernote for more than 1 year.

I’ve installed the application on my blackberry, on my laptop, on my iPad, but it still not the good system.

I’ve found that using an electronic application to take notes on the spot has few drawbacks that are killers :

  • It’s not fast enough :
    When you want to take a new note you have to switch the device on, launch the application, sometimes login, create a new note, and then you can start to take notes using the keyboard, which is often slower than writing with a pen.
  • You are limited to letters :
    When I take notes, sometimes I want to draw , or to organise the words. On an lelectronic system it’s not possible
  • Sometime it bugs :
    Sometimes it’s due to network issues (“connection lost”),  sometimes it’s because I forget to push the “save” button. The “Lost” not experience is very frustrating
  • It “kills” the human contact with people :
    When you use a device to take notes, people thinks that you’re sending emails, or sms, which give a bad impression and kills the contact.

Because of all this, I’m back to paper.

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  • Damien Pasquinelli |

    Currently I use a mix between paper and IPad :
    > Paper : exchange with our resources, shorts minutes
    > iPad : new idea so 80% with diagramm => i can post it easily on our collaborative platform in idea box of Innovation Lab. so every people can take it to improve the idea and share with other…we can’t with paper

    This solution for myself is the best solution but maybe i will change in 2 month 🙂

  • lmau |

    Good point. I like the idea to use electronic system to be able to share information for collaboration purpose. I will consider it.

  • JimHirshfield |

    Agreed. It seems old fashioned, but I think it’s more respectful to those you’re meeting with. Not only does it appear as though I’m not sending emails, it appears at the far other extreme: I’m paying close attention. I often rewrite important notes onto my computer. For instance into CRM or email. This rehashing helps me focus on most important takeaways from the meeting.

    • Tyler Hayes |

      Big ditto on the “more respectful” part. I take my Field Notes to every 1:1 or otherwise intimate meeting. I do use Evernote when in product development-type meetings, for example, to keep minutes of all the brainstorming happening. But otherwise I prefer taking notes (especially of the task-oriented variety) on paper and then just carrying it with me every where I go. It’s the best to-do system I know.

      • lmau |

        yes, I like your point to make difference between 1:1 and many:many meetings.

        Now I use as much as possible evernote on ipad (I notice that having an iPad on the table is better than a laptop with the screen that “cut'” the communcation, but in some occasion, for 1:1 specific meeting, I still use a simple paper and pen…

    • lmau |

      I agree, the good part of “rewriting” the notes from paper to electronic is that it helps to clean and re-organize them.
      The issue is to take the time to do it …