Note taking Tip: Why and where should you be adding your Notes

By: standss , Jul 23rd, 2013

I read a great article on Life Hacker recently titled Write Notes Before Making a Phone Call to Stay Focused.

It is a great idea to make notes of things you would like to discuss with someone because:

  1. You know exactly what you are going to talk about
  2. You waste less time of the person you called and yourself
  3. You get all the information you need in the first call as opposed to calling the person several times.

BUT… where should you make your notes so that it is easily accessible before making the call and after the call (for later reference)?

One option is to write your notes on a sticky notepad or piece of paper… but you could easily end up with several pages with important notes and as easily misplace them wasting several hours hunting for it under your desk, in the rubbish bin (and hoping you find it)…

The ideal place to add/save your notes would be where you spend most of your time working… your EMAILS!!!

Here are a few reasons why you should make notes on emails?

  1. Emails from people outside our own companies are often followed by phone calls to get additional information that was missing in the email.… it is convenient to record follow-up notes directly on the email so that all the information is in one place.
  2. We often delegate things to other people in our team via email… Recording details directly on the email makes it easier to check if a delegated task has been fully completed.
  3. Similarly we may have work that has been delegated to us via email initially but then followed up by phone calls or face-to-face meetings. Recording details directly on the email improves our chances of carrying out the delegated tasks fully.
  4. Like many people I have a habit of quickly scanning through my emails… if an email relates to something I can do easily, I take action… otherwise I work on it later but… I may have ideas immediately and it is useful to record it with the email… ready for me to use later. This way I don’t lose thoughts or ideas related to an email.

How to write notes on emails?

One way of writing notes on emails is to… print out the emailshandwrite on them… and hope you can find them later.

The downsides of this method are that we waste a lot of paper… and the emails and notes are difficult to find when we need them.

There is an easier way… use Email Notes for Outlook… an Outlook addin that adds a button inside Outlook for you so that you can easily add, view, edit and print notes on emails… all from inside Outlook.

You can learn more about and download a fully functional version of Email Notes for Outlook from our website.

I hope you find this tip useful.

Do you know of other ways to make notes and easily retrieve them for future reference?

Share it with us by leaving a comment below.

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