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Notetaking: my tips


I only run a small team of 3 direct reports but under my News portfolio I daily work with 25 Journos along with 30 Program Managers and Developers. With lost of requests coming from all sorts of directions (sound familiar), structured note taking is important to stop getting into a mess. Well, this is what I do…

I split my note taking into two categories, and I’m never without one of them.


I use my notepad in very much the same way as Matt Cutts, the guru from Google. In my ubiquitous Moleskine (I choose the plain A5 version) I put in tasks or actions only.

Inside view of a Moleskine ruled notebook; the elastic band is visible on the right, as is the bookmark in the center.

I add tasks and tick them off one by one and when all tasks are completed (or the task is too old) I rip out the page. I try to ensure I don’t have more than a couple of pages with writing, if it becomes more then I create a new succinct list and rip out the old.

Tablet PC

For everything that needs to be kept permanently, I use my Tablet PC and OneNote. To be honest, it’s not that often I need to write down a lot of notes and generally you’re aware of those meetings such as brainstorming sessions to meetings with clients. If am caught without my tablet, I write it down in my notepad and transfer it to my tablet afterwards.


OneNote is great tool, being able to search your text, handwriting and even your cut and pasted images! It’s the perfect way to keep my notes organised and easy to find, there too many features to write here but do a Live Search (still not really a verb!). It’s also much safer to keep your perma-notes on your PC as my machine is backup by our network and I also backup to the cloud using Mozy.

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