Keeping a log book « Alec the Geek
[record] All work and development related telephone calls, conversations and meetings

I am often disappointed how often people fail to takes notes during conversations and meetings. This seems to be such an elementary part of working with people, remembering the information they provide and decisions jointly made. However for many it's just not part of their working culture and it often seems to lead to sloppy thinking (something you can't afford in the details based world of software development). I've already mentioned in a previous post what should be maintained in a log book, but just to satisfy me, I'm going to outline how to record information during a meeting (NB This is not the same as taking meeting minutes):

  • Record the date, purpose and attendees. If the meeting is off site (away from your normal place of work) then it's often a useful memory jogger to note location as well.
  • Briefly note:
    • the topics being discussed;
    • any issues or problems;
    • facts;
    • further information (e.g. explanations, follow up references);
    • Next Actions for you (i.e. anything you need to follow up)
    • Any decisions made
Use any note taking techniques that works for you (e.g. a mindmap). These are private notes