Meetings vs. Electrons

Several posts have cropped up lately concerning using an iPad in meetings. Ben Brooks is for it. Randy Murray, not so much while Eddie Smith walks the middle path. This raises a bigger question about the role of technology in meetings and since it is hard for me to have a single unpublished thought, here I go.

I specifically recall the first time I confronted the issue of electrons and meetings. It was 1995 and I was talking to a group of clients about some pretty serious troubles. The clients (all three of them) had shiny new Apple Newtons and were making plenty of “bleep, blop, blorg” sounds while I was busy trying to keep them from getting sued into oblivion. I thought the whole thing was ridiculous. As a result of that single event, for a long time pen and paper was my only meeting technology and I skipped the Newton revolution.

A few years ago the Livescribe Pen showed up at Macworld. The Livescribe pen is great in a meeting. It records your pen strokes on its microdot paper letting you create a PDF of your notes. In addition to digital backup, it optionally records your conversation and indexes the recording to the pen strokes. Tap the pen on the page where you scribbled “fanny pack” and the pen plays the recording it took while your boss talked about his holiday.

My note taking skills were never that good. Using the Livescribe pen, I now jot down signposts and instead focus my attention on the other people in the room. Perhaps it is less efficient having to go back and listen (or at least index) later but my peanut-like brain usually gets something out of the review and I know I get more information out of the meeting attendees when I’m focused on them instead of scribble scrabble. So I was happy using the Livescribe pen. My nerdy nougat filling found a way to use a gadget in meetings. Then the iPad showed up.

iPad Notes

For the last month, I’ve been desperately trying to replace the Livescribe Pen with any of the legions of note taking apps for the iPad. We are recording a Mac Power Users episode on taking notes later today and I’m here to report that, after a month of research, none of them really worked for me.

Despite some very smart developers best intents, I didn’t find an app that could keep up with my Livescribe pen. There are a variety of iPad note taking apps. Some of them let you zoom in on the screen and later shrink it. Others will record and let you drop in graphics. When the bullets were flying in a busy meeting however, they all were more distracting than helpful. Drawing words with my fingers just didn’t work. Perhaps it was all that loud music I used to listen to or my inherent lack the fine motor control but, despite my best efforts, everything I wrote came out looking like the half drunken scrawlings of a semi-literate yak herder. I bought a stylus for the iPad, which is kind of nifty for diagraming but useless for words.

The closest I came to making the iPad work as a capture device in meetings was iThoughtsHD. iThoughts makes it really easy to build mind maps and it is wicked fast. When a meeting strays in to brain storming, iThoughts kept up with a pen and paper mind map just fine.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Great Meetings

Although I’m not sold on the iPad to take notes in meetings, I have found a role for it. The iPad serves as an all knowing, all seeing, source of information. Because I’ve incorporated so much of my world into the iPad, I find it really useful as a reference in meetings. If a question comes up about some document, chances are, I have an annotated version of it sitting in GoodReader. Want to talk about a complicated brief? I probably already have an iThoughts outline of it drawn up. Trying to figure out dates, open the calendar. I’ve also got OmniFocus task lists, Simplenote text files, and Safari to answer just about any question that comes up.

A quick war story

I was in one of those smoke filled rooms for an “important” meeting. One guy was doing most of the talking. To protect the guilty, I’ll call him “Blowhard.” Anyway, Blowhard starts going on and on about how the contract says X, not Y. Everyone in the room is raising their eyebrows thinking this Blowhard guy really has it together. Meanwhile I’m drilling into GoodReader and plugging it into the projector. Up comes the contract with my bookmark directly on the paragraph in question, with my highlights showing that, sadly, Blowhard has it wrong. The contract says Y, not X. I even had a little annotation commenting on it. Behold the power of iPad.

The iPad is invaluable as a reference in a meeting. It is so good at this role that using it to take notes gets in the way. I’d rather take notes somewhere else so the iPad is free to be my Hitchhiker’s guide to everything.

The Wall

The problem I’ve always had with laptops in meetings is that they inevitably feel like you are erecting a wall between yourself and the other person. As a result, I rarely use a laptop in a meeting. When I do use them, it is to display a Keynote presentation or an indexed set of PDF documents. Those roles, however, are quickly being usurped by the iPad. If you must use a laptop in a meeting, have other attendees sit next to you or project it so they don’t wonder if you are twittering.

Summarize, Please

To answer the question, I do see a use for the iPad in meetings, but not to take notes. Instead, I use it to make me look brilliant. I’m okay with that.

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62 Comments Meetings vs. Electrons

  1. jessicafritsche@gmail.com

    I am a die-hard copious notetaker…it stems back to my school days and is a habit I've never been able to shake, especially in the workplace. More times than not my notes have saved my bacon for one reason or another, but I'm always drowning in paper and needing to replace the filler in my Circa notebook. I'm sure you can relate, as I used to work for a law firm and felt like I was in the deep end of the paper pool at all times. 🙂

    I have been determined to find a place for the iPad in meetings, if for no other reason than to cut down on my paper clutter and consumption. Recently I did an experiment using the iPad to take notes during a series of lengthy meetings where I didn't have enough room to balance my giant letter-sized Circa. I have been using Notes Plus and find that, with a stylus, I am able to write as quickly and legibly (in cursive no less) as I do on paper thanks to their zoom-out panel that moves with you as you write. I don't want to rely on a keyboard to take notes because I just don't process information as well when I type it out as when I physically write it, so this has been a really awesome find for me.

    I have tried a bunch of apps as well, and this is the one that works best for me so far. If anyone hasn't checked it out, I encourage you to give it a try. I'm not affiliated with the app in any way, just a fan who thinks it works great. The developer is very active in adding new features and making it work as well as possible, which is also really awesome.

    Reply
  2. jessicafritsche@gmail.com

    I am a die-hard copious notetaker…it stems back to my school days and is a habit I've never been able to shake, especially in the workplace. More times than not my notes have saved my bacon for one reason or another, but I'm always drowning in paper and needing to replace the filler in my Circa notebook. I'm sure you can relate, as I used to work for a law firm and felt like I was in the deep end of the paper pool at all times. 🙂

    I have been determined to find a place for the iPad in meetings, if for no other reason than to cut down on my paper clutter and consumption. Recently I did an experiment using the iPad to take notes during a series of lengthy meetings where I didn't have enough room to balance my giant letter-sized Circa. I have been using Notes Plus and find that, with a stylus, I am able to write as quickly and legibly (in cursive no less) as I do on paper thanks to their zoom-out panel that moves with you as you write. I don't want to rely on a keyboard to take notes because I just don't process information as well when I type it out as when I physically write it, so this has been a really awesome find for me.

    I have tried a bunch of apps as well, and this is the one that works best for me so far. If anyone hasn't checked it out, I encourage you to give it a try. I'm not affiliated with the app in any way, just a fan who thinks it works great. The developer is very active in adding new features and making it work as well as possible, which is also really awesome.

    Reply
  3. jessicafritsche@gmail.com

    I am a die-hard copious notetaker…it stems back to my school days and is a habit I've never been able to shake, especially in the workplace. More times than not my notes have saved my bacon for one reason or another, but I'm always drowning in paper and needing to replace the filler in my Circa notebook. I'm sure you can relate, as I used to work for a law firm and felt like I was in the deep end of the paper pool at all times. 🙂

    I have been determined to find a place for the iPad in meetings, if for no other reason than to cut down on my paper clutter and consumption. Recently I did an experiment using the iPad to take notes during a series of lengthy meetings where I didn't have enough room to balance my giant letter-sized Circa. I have been using Notes Plus and find that, with a stylus, I am able to write as quickly and legibly (in cursive no less) as I do on paper thanks to their zoom-out panel that moves with you as you write. I don't want to rely on a keyboard to take notes because I just don't process information as well when I type it out as when I physically write it, so this has been a really awesome find for me.

    I have tried a bunch of apps as well, and this is the one that works best for me so far. If anyone hasn't checked it out, I encourage you to give it a try. I'm not affiliated with the app in any way, just a fan who thinks it works great. The developer is very active in adding new features and making it work as well as possible, which is also really awesome.

    Reply
  4. jessicafritsche@gmail.com

    I am a die-hard copious notetaker…it stems back to my school days and is a habit I've never been able to shake, especially in the workplace. More times than not my notes have saved my bacon for one reason or another, but I'm always drowning in paper and needing to replace the filler in my Circa notebook. I'm sure you can relate, as I used to work for a law firm and felt like I was in the deep end of the paper pool at all times. 🙂

    I have been determined to find a place for the iPad in meetings, if for no other reason than to cut down on my paper clutter and consumption. Recently I did an experiment using the iPad to take notes during a series of lengthy meetings where I didn't have enough room to balance my giant letter-sized Circa. I have been using Notes Plus and find that, with a stylus, I am able to write as quickly and legibly (in cursive no less) as I do on paper thanks to their zoom-out panel that moves with you as you write. I don't want to rely on a keyboard to take notes because I just don't process information as well when I type it out as when I physically write it, so this has been a really awesome find for me.

    I have tried a bunch of apps as well, and this is the one that works best for me so far. If anyone hasn't checked it out, I encourage you to give it a try. I'm not affiliated with the app in any way, just a fan who thinks it works great. The developer is very active in adding new features and making it work as well as possible, which is also really awesome.

    Reply
  5. jessicafritsche@gmail.com

    I am a die-hard copious notetaker…it stems back to my school days and is a habit I've never been able to shake, especially in the workplace. More times than not my notes have saved my bacon for one reason or another, but I'm always drowning in paper and needing to replace the filler in my Circa notebook. I'm sure you can relate, as I used to work for a law firm and felt like I was in the deep end of the paper pool at all times. 🙂

    I have been determined to find a place for the iPad in meetings, if for no other reason than to cut down on my paper clutter and consumption. Recently I did an experiment using the iPad to take notes during a series of lengthy meetings where I didn't have enough room to balance my giant letter-sized Circa. I have been using Notes Plus and find that, with a stylus, I am able to write as quickly and legibly (in cursive no less) as I do on paper thanks to their zoom-out panel that moves with you as you write. I don't want to rely on a keyboard to take notes because I just don't process information as well when I type it out as when I physically write it, so this has been a really awesome find for me.

    I have tried a bunch of apps as well, and this is the one that works best for me so far. If anyone hasn't checked it out, I encourage you to give it a try. I'm not affiliated with the app in any way, just a fan who thinks it works great. The developer is very active in adding new features and making it work as well as possible, which is also really awesome.

    Reply
  6. Tdearhamer@mac.com

    Great post for a variety of reasons.

    1. I don't have a Livescribe and have tried not to buy one since before the iPad. With the iPad I've been trying to find an app so I can use my iPad like a Livescribe. Like you: nothing seems to work for taking notes in a meeting with an iPad. Partly because people want to play with it, criticize it, or think it is a toy. I think I need to get a Livescribe.

    2. I have also pulled out the iPad and proved someone was wrong or not remembering correctly. It's awesome to have all the reference papers with you without the bulk.

    3. It's funny that some tech is OK ( show me a conference room without a projector, speaker phone, and wifi); some tech is off putting (laptops, iPads) and not OK, and some is in between (smartphones).

    I wonder if people complained about the clicking of ball point pens or the absence of ink wells when that tech changed?

    Your friend and Mac Geek in London

    Timothy

    Reply
  7. Tdearhamer@mac.com

    Great post for a variety of reasons.

    1. I don't have a Livescribe and have tried not to buy one since before the iPad. With the iPad I've been trying to find an app so I can use my iPad like a Livescribe. Like you: nothing seems to work for taking notes in a meeting with an iPad. Partly because people want to play with it, criticize it, or think it is a toy. I think I need to get a Livescribe.

    2. I have also pulled out the iPad and proved someone was wrong or not remembering correctly. It's awesome to have all the reference papers with you without the bulk.

    3. It's funny that some tech is OK ( show me a conference room without a projector, speaker phone, and wifi); some tech is off putting (laptops, iPads) and not OK, and some is in between (smartphones).

    I wonder if people complained about the clicking of ball point pens or the absence of ink wells when that tech changed?

    Your friend and Mac Geek in London

    Timothy

    Reply
  8. Tdearhamer@mac.com

    Great post for a variety of reasons.

    1. I don't have a Livescribe and have tried not to buy one since before the iPad. With the iPad I've been trying to find an app so I can use my iPad like a Livescribe. Like you: nothing seems to work for taking notes in a meeting with an iPad. Partly because people want to play with it, criticize it, or think it is a toy. I think I need to get a Livescribe.

    2. I have also pulled out the iPad and proved someone was wrong or not remembering correctly. It's awesome to have all the reference papers with you without the bulk.

    3. It's funny that some tech is OK ( show me a conference room without a projector, speaker phone, and wifi); some tech is off putting (laptops, iPads) and not OK, and some is in between (smartphones).

    I wonder if people complained about the clicking of ball point pens or the absence of ink wells when that tech changed?

    Your friend and Mac Geek in London

    Timothy

    Reply
  9. Tdearhamer@mac.com

    Great post for a variety of reasons.

    1. I don't have a Livescribe and have tried not to buy one since before the iPad. With the iPad I've been trying to find an app so I can use my iPad like a Livescribe. Like you: nothing seems to work for taking notes in a meeting with an iPad. Partly because people want to play with it, criticize it, or think it is a toy. I think I need to get a Livescribe.

    2. I have also pulled out the iPad and proved someone was wrong or not remembering correctly. It's awesome to have all the reference papers with you without the bulk.

    3. It's funny that some tech is OK ( show me a conference room without a projector, speaker phone, and wifi); some tech is off putting (laptops, iPads) and not OK, and some is in between (smartphones).

    I wonder if people complained about the clicking of ball point pens or the absence of ink wells when that tech changed?

    Your friend and Mac Geek in London

    Timothy

    Reply
  10. Tdearhamer@mac.com

    Great post for a variety of reasons.

    1. I don't have a Livescribe and have tried not to buy one since before the iPad. With the iPad I've been trying to find an app so I can use my iPad like a Livescribe. Like you: nothing seems to work for taking notes in a meeting with an iPad. Partly because people want to play with it, criticize it, or think it is a toy. I think I need to get a Livescribe.

    2. I have also pulled out the iPad and proved someone was wrong or not remembering correctly. It's awesome to have all the reference papers with you without the bulk.

    3. It's funny that some tech is OK ( show me a conference room without a projector, speaker phone, and wifi); some tech is off putting (laptops, iPads) and not OK, and some is in between (smartphones).

    I wonder if people complained about the clicking of ball point pens or the absence of ink wells when that tech changed?

    Your friend and Mac Geek in London

    Timothy

    Reply
  11. cptnrandy@me.com

    I'm all for using the iPad or a laptop when one needs to access information useful to the meeting. And I think the iPad excels at this – along with being less obtrusive.

    For note taking, you and I are of one mind. It's just not as useful as a simple pen and paper – at least not yet.

    Thanks for the link love!

    Reply
  12. cptnrandy@me.com

    I'm all for using the iPad or a laptop when one needs to access information useful to the meeting. And I think the iPad excels at this – along with being less obtrusive.

    For note taking, you and I are of one mind. It's just not as useful as a simple pen and paper – at least not yet.

    Thanks for the link love!

    Reply
  13. cptnrandy@me.com

    I'm all for using the iPad or a laptop when one needs to access information useful to the meeting. And I think the iPad excels at this – along with being less obtrusive.

    For note taking, you and I are of one mind. It's just not as useful as a simple pen and paper – at least not yet.

    Thanks for the link love!

    Reply
  14. cptnrandy@me.com

    I'm all for using the iPad or a laptop when one needs to access information useful to the meeting. And I think the iPad excels at this – along with being less obtrusive.

    For note taking, you and I are of one mind. It's just not as useful as a simple pen and paper – at least not yet.

    Thanks for the link love!

    Reply
  15. cptnrandy@me.com

    I'm all for using the iPad or a laptop when one needs to access information useful to the meeting. And I think the iPad excels at this – along with being less obtrusive.

    For note taking, you and I are of one mind. It's just not as useful as a simple pen and paper – at least not yet.

    Thanks for the link love!

    Reply
  16. robert@vatark.co.uk

    I use my iPad as a mobile filing cabinet at meetings. It's a great place to keep the Agenda, papers for the meeting, and general reference. It's especially easy when Evernote is part of the workflow.

    The iPad is much better than a laptop for this role as its form factor is much less obtrusive than a laptop on the desk with the screen up.

    I still use a notebook and pen for making notes at meetings. Old technology is still hard to beat.

    Carry on being brilliant!

    Reply
  17. robert@vatark.co.uk

    I use my iPad as a mobile filing cabinet at meetings. It's a great place to keep the Agenda, papers for the meeting, and general reference. It's especially easy when Evernote is part of the workflow.

    The iPad is much better than a laptop for this role as its form factor is much less obtrusive than a laptop on the desk with the screen up.

    I still use a notebook and pen for making notes at meetings. Old technology is still hard to beat.

    Carry on being brilliant!

    Reply
  18. robert@vatark.co.uk

    I use my iPad as a mobile filing cabinet at meetings. It's a great place to keep the Agenda, papers for the meeting, and general reference. It's especially easy when Evernote is part of the workflow.

    The iPad is much better than a laptop for this role as its form factor is much less obtrusive than a laptop on the desk with the screen up.

    I still use a notebook and pen for making notes at meetings. Old technology is still hard to beat.

    Carry on being brilliant!

    Reply
  19. robert@vatark.co.uk

    I use my iPad as a mobile filing cabinet at meetings. It's a great place to keep the Agenda, papers for the meeting, and general reference. It's especially easy when Evernote is part of the workflow.

    The iPad is much better than a laptop for this role as its form factor is much less obtrusive than a laptop on the desk with the screen up.

    I still use a notebook and pen for making notes at meetings. Old technology is still hard to beat.

    Carry on being brilliant!

    Reply
  20. robert@vatark.co.uk

    I use my iPad as a mobile filing cabinet at meetings. It's a great place to keep the Agenda, papers for the meeting, and general reference. It's especially easy when Evernote is part of the workflow.

    The iPad is much better than a laptop for this role as its form factor is much less obtrusive than a laptop on the desk with the screen up.

    I still use a notebook and pen for making notes at meetings. Old technology is still hard to beat.

    Carry on being brilliant!

    Reply
  21. Paul

    Do you disclose to meeting participants that you are recording? What about telephone conference calls? Has anyone ever noticed and requested that you not record?

    Reply
  22. stevie.rice@googlemail.com

    I definitely agree that having documents available to you is vital and it's much less obtrusive to have an ipad on the table than a stack of files under your chair. You're also much more likely to carry an ipad with you than a stack of files.

    Reply
  23. stevie.rice@googlemail.com

    I definitely agree that having documents available to you is vital and it's much less obtrusive to have an ipad on the table than a stack of files under your chair. You're also much more likely to carry an ipad with you than a stack of files.

    Reply
  24. stevie.rice@googlemail.com

    I definitely agree that having documents available to you is vital and it's much less obtrusive to have an ipad on the table than a stack of files under your chair. You're also much more likely to carry an ipad with you than a stack of files.

    Reply
  25. stevie.rice@googlemail.com

    I definitely agree that having documents available to you is vital and it's much less obtrusive to have an ipad on the table than a stack of files under your chair. You're also much more likely to carry an ipad with you than a stack of files.

    Reply
  26. stevie.rice@googlemail.com

    I definitely agree that having documents available to you is vital and it's much less obtrusive to have an ipad on the table than a stack of files under your chair. You're also much more likely to carry an ipad with you than a stack of files.

    Reply
  27. dtsteele@mac.com

    Great, practical discussion. I don't have an ipad (we'll see after 3/2/11) but do have a new MBA. I don't take it to meetings for much the same reason you describe but the reference value will increase as I move more content into it. I would like to hear your thoughts on the new NoteBook app for the ipad sometime too.
    As for skipping the Newton revolution, all I can say is it was great fun and lasted much longer than the sales life on the little green assistant. It still goes on for some but mine are in a drawer now…
    It was great to catch you at MW this year. Hope for a repeat next time!

    Reply
  28. dtsteele@mac.com

    Great, practical discussion. I don't have an ipad (we'll see after 3/2/11) but do have a new MBA. I don't take it to meetings for much the same reason you describe but the reference value will increase as I move more content into it. I would like to hear your thoughts on the new NoteBook app for the ipad sometime too.
    As for skipping the Newton revolution, all I can say is it was great fun and lasted much longer than the sales life on the little green assistant. It still goes on for some but mine are in a drawer now…
    It was great to catch you at MW this year. Hope for a repeat next time!

    Reply
  29. dtsteele@mac.com

    Great, practical discussion. I don't have an ipad (we'll see after 3/2/11) but do have a new MBA. I don't take it to meetings for much the same reason you describe but the reference value will increase as I move more content into it. I would like to hear your thoughts on the new NoteBook app for the ipad sometime too.
    As for skipping the Newton revolution, all I can say is it was great fun and lasted much longer than the sales life on the little green assistant. It still goes on for some but mine are in a drawer now…
    It was great to catch you at MW this year. Hope for a repeat next time!

    Reply
  30. dtsteele@mac.com

    Great, practical discussion. I don't have an ipad (we'll see after 3/2/11) but do have a new MBA. I don't take it to meetings for much the same reason you describe but the reference value will increase as I move more content into it. I would like to hear your thoughts on the new NoteBook app for the ipad sometime too.
    As for skipping the Newton revolution, all I can say is it was great fun and lasted much longer than the sales life on the little green assistant. It still goes on for some but mine are in a drawer now…
    It was great to catch you at MW this year. Hope for a repeat next time!

    Reply
  31. dtsteele@mac.com

    Great, practical discussion. I don't have an ipad (we'll see after 3/2/11) but do have a new MBA. I don't take it to meetings for much the same reason you describe but the reference value will increase as I move more content into it. I would like to hear your thoughts on the new NoteBook app for the ipad sometime too.
    As for skipping the Newton revolution, all I can say is it was great fun and lasted much longer than the sales life on the little green assistant. It still goes on for some but mine are in a drawer now…
    It was great to catch you at MW this year. Hope for a repeat next time!

    Reply
  32. james@thatmarwoodchap.com

    I've experimented with keyboard based notetaking on the iPad, and it works great for me in lectures or when I'm not actively participating in a meeting. However I've stuck to pen & paper when I need something that requires less brain cycles to manage. Part of this is probably due to my woefully poor typing speed.

    I agree on the iPad as reference source – although I've not used the projector like you describe. Is this something you can do with any app, or is there something clever one needs to do to get it to work?

    Reply
  33. james@thatmarwoodchap.com

    I've experimented with keyboard based notetaking on the iPad, and it works great for me in lectures or when I'm not actively participating in a meeting. However I've stuck to pen & paper when I need something that requires less brain cycles to manage. Part of this is probably due to my woefully poor typing speed.

    I agree on the iPad as reference source – although I've not used the projector like you describe. Is this something you can do with any app, or is there something clever one needs to do to get it to work?

    Reply
  34. james@thatmarwoodchap.com

    I've experimented with keyboard based notetaking on the iPad, and it works great for me in lectures or when I'm not actively participating in a meeting. However I've stuck to pen & paper when I need something that requires less brain cycles to manage. Part of this is probably due to my woefully poor typing speed.

    I agree on the iPad as reference source – although I've not used the projector like you describe. Is this something you can do with any app, or is there something clever one needs to do to get it to work?

    Reply
  35. james@thatmarwoodchap.com

    I've experimented with keyboard based notetaking on the iPad, and it works great for me in lectures or when I'm not actively participating in a meeting. However I've stuck to pen & paper when I need something that requires less brain cycles to manage. Part of this is probably due to my woefully poor typing speed.

    I agree on the iPad as reference source – although I've not used the projector like you describe. Is this something you can do with any app, or is there something clever one needs to do to get it to work?

    Reply
  36. james@thatmarwoodchap.com

    I've experimented with keyboard based notetaking on the iPad, and it works great for me in lectures or when I'm not actively participating in a meeting. However I've stuck to pen & paper when I need something that requires less brain cycles to manage. Part of this is probably due to my woefully poor typing speed.

    I agree on the iPad as reference source – although I've not used the projector like you describe. Is this something you can do with any app, or is there something clever one needs to do to get it to work?

    Reply
  37. garry@netrapt.com

    For years I have been at the forefront of new technology but these days I have slowed down and let others explore new horizons before venturing on the trail.
    Despite my love for the iPad I have resisted to buy one as I considered it to unnecessary for my workflow. But it doesn't matter what software you use or what device is employed pen and paper is king in meetings for taking notes. All the technology cannot beat pen and paper for this task.
    But to look up information the computer, be it mac or pc cannot be beaten. Even my iPhone (or in the past Windows Mobile) can hold heaps of info regarding a project that can be referred to in the meeting.
    In regards to the wall (notebook/laptop), it is ergonomically better than the iPad (which I love the form factor of) as it is far easier to view especially if you only have a 13" screen instead of a 17" screen which really is a wall (that 4" makes a really big difference). I place the laptop of to the side, glancing to it or typing on it as a question arises that needs input from this vast store of information.
    I consider the MacBook Air to be the most useful device; light, able to do real work (tons of typing) and easily can be your main machine when hooked up to a screen and external hard disk. It looks cool as well.
    The less devices the better. iPhone, Macbook Air and the most useful for meetings paper notebook with pen. Note, I do have a Mac Mini acting as an information store and hub for my home/office network.
    Oh! I take pictures of the notes I want to keep with the iPhone and drag them into Circus Ponies Notebook to annotate. Not all just the important ones. Its quick and simple.

    Reply
  38. garry@netrapt.com

    For years I have been at the forefront of new technology but these days I have slowed down and let others explore new horizons before venturing on the trail.
    Despite my love for the iPad I have resisted to buy one as I considered it to unnecessary for my workflow. But it doesn't matter what software you use or what device is employed pen and paper is king in meetings for taking notes. All the technology cannot beat pen and paper for this task.
    But to look up information the computer, be it mac or pc cannot be beaten. Even my iPhone (or in the past Windows Mobile) can hold heaps of info regarding a project that can be referred to in the meeting.
    In regards to the wall (notebook/laptop), it is ergonomically better than the iPad (which I love the form factor of) as it is far easier to view especially if you only have a 13" screen instead of a 17" screen which really is a wall (that 4" makes a really big difference). I place the laptop of to the side, glancing to it or typing on it as a question arises that needs input from this vast store of information.
    I consider the MacBook Air to be the most useful device; light, able to do real work (tons of typing) and easily can be your main machine when hooked up to a screen and external hard disk. It looks cool as well.
    The less devices the better. iPhone, Macbook Air and the most useful for meetings paper notebook with pen. Note, I do have a Mac Mini acting as an information store and hub for my home/office network.
    Oh! I take pictures of the notes I want to keep with the iPhone and drag them into Circus Ponies Notebook to annotate. Not all just the important ones. Its quick and simple.

    Reply
  39. garry@netrapt.com

    For years I have been at the forefront of new technology but these days I have slowed down and let others explore new horizons before venturing on the trail.
    Despite my love for the iPad I have resisted to buy one as I considered it to unnecessary for my workflow. But it doesn't matter what software you use or what device is employed pen and paper is king in meetings for taking notes. All the technology cannot beat pen and paper for this task.
    But to look up information the computer, be it mac or pc cannot be beaten. Even my iPhone (or in the past Windows Mobile) can hold heaps of info regarding a project that can be referred to in the meeting.
    In regards to the wall (notebook/laptop), it is ergonomically better than the iPad (which I love the form factor of) as it is far easier to view especially if you only have a 13" screen instead of a 17" screen which really is a wall (that 4" makes a really big difference). I place the laptop of to the side, glancing to it or typing on it as a question arises that needs input from this vast store of information.
    I consider the MacBook Air to be the most useful device; light, able to do real work (tons of typing) and easily can be your main machine when hooked up to a screen and external hard disk. It looks cool as well.
    The less devices the better. iPhone, Macbook Air and the most useful for meetings paper notebook with pen. Note, I do have a Mac Mini acting as an information store and hub for my home/office network.
    Oh! I take pictures of the notes I want to keep with the iPhone and drag them into Circus Ponies Notebook to annotate. Not all just the important ones. Its quick and simple.

    Reply
  40. garry@netrapt.com

    For years I have been at the forefront of new technology but these days I have slowed down and let others explore new horizons before venturing on the trail.
    Despite my love for the iPad I have resisted to buy one as I considered it to unnecessary for my workflow. But it doesn't matter what software you use or what device is employed pen and paper is king in meetings for taking notes. All the technology cannot beat pen and paper for this task.
    But to look up information the computer, be it mac or pc cannot be beaten. Even my iPhone (or in the past Windows Mobile) can hold heaps of info regarding a project that can be referred to in the meeting.
    In regards to the wall (notebook/laptop), it is ergonomically better than the iPad (which I love the form factor of) as it is far easier to view especially if you only have a 13" screen instead of a 17" screen which really is a wall (that 4" makes a really big difference). I place the laptop of to the side, glancing to it or typing on it as a question arises that needs input from this vast store of information.
    I consider the MacBook Air to be the most useful device; light, able to do real work (tons of typing) and easily can be your main machine when hooked up to a screen and external hard disk. It looks cool as well.
    The less devices the better. iPhone, Macbook Air and the most useful for meetings paper notebook with pen. Note, I do have a Mac Mini acting as an information store and hub for my home/office network.
    Oh! I take pictures of the notes I want to keep with the iPhone and drag them into Circus Ponies Notebook to annotate. Not all just the important ones. Its quick and simple.

    Reply
  41. garry@netrapt.com

    For years I have been at the forefront of new technology but these days I have slowed down and let others explore new horizons before venturing on the trail.
    Despite my love for the iPad I have resisted to buy one as I considered it to unnecessary for my workflow. But it doesn't matter what software you use or what device is employed pen and paper is king in meetings for taking notes. All the technology cannot beat pen and paper for this task.
    But to look up information the computer, be it mac or pc cannot be beaten. Even my iPhone (or in the past Windows Mobile) can hold heaps of info regarding a project that can be referred to in the meeting.
    In regards to the wall (notebook/laptop), it is ergonomically better than the iPad (which I love the form factor of) as it is far easier to view especially if you only have a 13" screen instead of a 17" screen which really is a wall (that 4" makes a really big difference). I place the laptop of to the side, glancing to it or typing on it as a question arises that needs input from this vast store of information.
    I consider the MacBook Air to be the most useful device; light, able to do real work (tons of typing) and easily can be your main machine when hooked up to a screen and external hard disk. It looks cool as well.
    The less devices the better. iPhone, Macbook Air and the most useful for meetings paper notebook with pen. Note, I do have a Mac Mini acting as an information store and hub for my home/office network.
    Oh! I take pictures of the notes I want to keep with the iPhone and drag them into Circus Ponies Notebook to annotate. Not all just the important ones. Its quick and simple.

    Reply
  42. David.apugsley@me.com

    Interesting post and comments. Agree about the laptop in meetings being a no no. iPad works for me to take notes in some meetings it just depends on the meeting context. I use MindNode for this as it is so flexible to bring the different conversation threads together so where the meeting is a discovery or a wide ranging discussion it is ideal. For short meetings or where I am in a place where the iPad is not ready to hand then the small moleskin notebook and a pen is my preferred method, transferred quickly to Simplenote straight after the meeting. On occasion I have just pulled my iphone out instead and typed straight into Simplenote. The key for me is having the notes searchable and readily available after the event. Simplenote and mind node are perfect for this I find.

    Reply
  43. David.apugsley@me.com

    Interesting post and comments. Agree about the laptop in meetings being a no no. iPad works for me to take notes in some meetings it just depends on the meeting context. I use MindNode for this as it is so flexible to bring the different conversation threads together so where the meeting is a discovery or a wide ranging discussion it is ideal. For short meetings or where I am in a place where the iPad is not ready to hand then the small moleskin notebook and a pen is my preferred method, transferred quickly to Simplenote straight after the meeting. On occasion I have just pulled my iphone out instead and typed straight into Simplenote. The key for me is having the notes searchable and readily available after the event. Simplenote and mind node are perfect for this I find.

    Reply
  44. David.apugsley@me.com

    Interesting post and comments. Agree about the laptop in meetings being a no no. iPad works for me to take notes in some meetings it just depends on the meeting context. I use MindNode for this as it is so flexible to bring the different conversation threads together so where the meeting is a discovery or a wide ranging discussion it is ideal. For short meetings or where I am in a place where the iPad is not ready to hand then the small moleskin notebook and a pen is my preferred method, transferred quickly to Simplenote straight after the meeting. On occasion I have just pulled my iphone out instead and typed straight into Simplenote. The key for me is having the notes searchable and readily available after the event. Simplenote and mind node are perfect for this I find.

    Reply
  45. David.apugsley@me.com

    Interesting post and comments. Agree about the laptop in meetings being a no no. iPad works for me to take notes in some meetings it just depends on the meeting context. I use MindNode for this as it is so flexible to bring the different conversation threads together so where the meeting is a discovery or a wide ranging discussion it is ideal. For short meetings or where I am in a place where the iPad is not ready to hand then the small moleskin notebook and a pen is my preferred method, transferred quickly to Simplenote straight after the meeting. On occasion I have just pulled my iphone out instead and typed straight into Simplenote. The key for me is having the notes searchable and readily available after the event. Simplenote and mind node are perfect for this I find.

    Reply
  46. David.apugsley@me.com

    Interesting post and comments. Agree about the laptop in meetings being a no no. iPad works for me to take notes in some meetings it just depends on the meeting context. I use MindNode for this as it is so flexible to bring the different conversation threads together so where the meeting is a discovery or a wide ranging discussion it is ideal. For short meetings or where I am in a place where the iPad is not ready to hand then the small moleskin notebook and a pen is my preferred method, transferred quickly to Simplenote straight after the meeting. On occasion I have just pulled my iphone out instead and typed straight into Simplenote. The key for me is having the notes searchable and readily available after the event. Simplenote and mind node are perfect for this I find.

    Reply
  47. Harry

    Interesting post!
    I use Pear Note on my mac for taking meeting notes and recording lecures. It is based on a similar idea as the livescribe pen, connecting (pre-)recorded audio, video and presentation slides to what you type.

    Reply

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