Taking notes isn't lean

Friday, January 13, 2017

AME Author, Founder, Lean Leadership Resource Center, Inc., www.leanleadershipresourcecenter.com


Recently I’ve begun the process of giving up handwritten notes.

After a 30-year history of working in the field of continuous improvement, my work is still much too dependent on paper. Writing notes, rather than typing them, has always been a way to actively listen. But it’s been causing me so much extra work with the unorganized handwritten notes everywhere and a lot of time wasted reworking things.

Recently on an airplane, I happened to be sitting next to a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in years. She saw me retyping my notes and mentioned that a few years ago, she had given it up. She had gotten herself an iPad and a matching keyboard, and now she only brings the iPad to her meetings.

We were both returning from a business trip, and the only thing she was carrying was this little bitty iPad in her purse! She opened it up and showed me how she had stored all of her notes from every client meeting over the last several years. When she left a meeting, she simply forwarded the notes to whoever needed them, and that was it!

So, ready for a new challenge, I went straight to the store and got an iPad and a handy little keyboard for myself. After my first few weeks, it has been every bit as hard as expected. Unlike the rest of the technology-addicted world, I am clearly addicted to paper.

When coming into a meeting, I keep wanting to grab a pen. It’s comfortable, and over decades of working that way, it’s hard to listen while typing on a keyboard. But I’m getting it! Like all new habits, after three to four weeks of working a new way, it will be a new normal.

Change is hard. But I’m determined. Since then, I’ve walked into a few meetings and shared what this change means to me, and a couple of people have decided to give up paper themselves and have already bought new iPads! Even though being addicted to pen and paper is a bit embarrassing, apparently there are many others just like me.

So, share with us how you handle your notes…by paper or electronically. If you have made the change to only electronic notes, how did you do it?

Email us at leanleadershipresourcecenter@gmail.com and let us know.