I just came back from Computers in Libraries 2014 … with three pages of notes. I heard some useful stuff this year!
I also changed how I’m taking notes, in hopes of making them more useful. In the past, I have been known to furiously type everything I hear, plus some ideas I get during the presentation, and post those notes as a blog post.
This year, I just wrote down the stuff I found interesting, and any ideas I got while listening (well, I actually typed them in the IA Writer iPad app, but you get the idea).
Many of us do this. We take notes while at a conference or during a meeting, and then when we get back home … we don’t really do anything with those notes. Myself included.
So this year, after the conference, I arranged my notes in a more “useful” way by placing all those thoughts and ideas into loose categories, like this:
David’s Categories for Post-Conference Bliss:
- Blog this
- Read this
- Think more about this
- Do this
- Share with someone
Get the idea? Each category is really an action, which get turned into action items on my to-do list when I get back home. For example:
- Blog this – This blog post is an example of that. It’s an idea I had when looking at my notes. Done
- Read this – Someone mentioned a white paper by Brian Matthews, Think like a Startup. So I downloaded it and read it. Good stuff! Done
- Think more about this – During one of Nate Hill‘s talks, he mentioned inviting a local Linux user’s group to meet at the library and help redefine the space. I need to think more about what groups are out there in Topeka, and about being more pro-active with inviting them to do work at the library.
- Do this – I heard Michael Casey, Christopher Baker, and David Smith talk about their Google Apps project (had dinner with them, too – fun time!). My “do this” bullet point says to set up a meeting to discuss our Exchange server options (we’re due for an upgrade this year).
- Share this with someone – I have a “talk to my boss” item about the concept of a “startup mentality” for organizations and projects, to see if it’s 1. a good idea, 2. where our bottlenecks are, and 3. if there’s something we can do about it.
A local non-profit board that I’m on recently rearranged their meeting minutes this way, and it really works for us (I can thank my wife for having that great idea, too). For the board meeting, our categories include: Information, Decisions, Open issues, and Action Items. That simple tweak has helped us be more organized. Hopefully it will work better for me personally, too!
So – what do YOU do with all those notes, thoughts, ideas, etc when you get back from the conference? Any good ideas? Please share!
image by Dvortygirl