Meeting and Note-Taking: Recommended Apps

Evernote has been the dominant app for meeting and note-taking. It has a streamlined interface and interacts with other programs such as Microsoft Outlook. There are competitors to Evernote recognizing that everyone needs a place to track meeting notes, tasks, ideas, recommendations and other pieces of information. Below are some other recommended applications for note-taking.

Google Keep is a simple platform to iStock_000007485287_Smalltake notes. Google Keep integrates with a user’s Google platform and notes can sync with Google Drive. Users can make unlimited lists, add photos and graphics to notes and also color code notes. Although the functionality for Google Keep is fairly basic, knowing Google it probably will get enhancements in the coming year.

Microsoft OneNote is part of the Microsoft Office suite and an alternative to Evernote. OneNote was specifically designed as a meeting note application and does a great job of organizing meeting notes by type and date of meeting. The integration with Outlook is also a key feature as it allows users to import emails and tasks between the applications. OneNote has an app and notes can sync to mobile devices. However, attached files such as Word, Excel or email documents may not open depending on your platform. The free version of OneNote is limited to 500 notes, with unlimited use available for $4.99 via an in-app purchase.

Time Management: Working in the Right Environment for the Right Activity—The Document Development Zone

Most of us perform our daily tasks at our desk near the computer. Often this is not the best place to do certain activities or priority tasks that take more concentration and less distraction. Activities such as strategic thinking, reading, writing and development often require a different environment to assist in changing the mindset to help perform those tasks more quickly and efficiently. An advantage of technology tools, telework and remote work environments is that workers can now utilize the right environment for the right activity.

Here is one type of zone environment each worker should have ;

Document Development zone

In our knowledge-based economy most workers have reports, budgets and written deliverables that are required for the job. These written deliverables require concentrated thinking, as do reading and decision making, but they also require workers to be near their computers. Often workers get started on these written deliverables and become waylaid from the task because e-mail and communication activities are immediately reactive.

A recent Vanderbilt University study found that a person who writes a report while checking e-mail will take one-and-half times longer than if the tasks were done sequentially. To be more efficient in written tasks consider taking the computer to another location such as a coffee shop, quiet room, conference room or home. If that isn’t an option then log out of e-mail and database programs and set the phone to voicemail to limit the immediate reactive temptation. Creating this development zone will maximize time and improve quality of work.

Time Management: Working in the Right Environment for the Right Activity—The Thinking Zone

Most of us perform our daily tasks at our desk near the computer. Often this is not the best place to do certain activities or priority tasks that take more concentration and less distraction. Activities such as strategic thinking, reading, writing and development often require a different environment to assist in changing the mindset to help perform those tasks more quickly and efficiently. An advantage of technology tools, telework and remote work environments is that workers can now utilize the right environment for the right activity.

Here is one type of zone environment each worker should have ;

 Thinking zone

Most decisions are made easily, but some important decisions require more thought and consideration before we can make them. These decisions take time and deliberation to consider the best options. Trying to make these important decisions in the active-communication zone often is not the best practice. It can be difficult to concentrate, and e-mails and interruptions become a distraction. Important decision making is usually done effectively in quiet spaces and in times of solitude. This thinking zone could be created during the commute to or from work, during a break, on a quick walk around the office building or neighborhood or even during physical exercise. Instead of forcing a key decision to be made in an active-communication zone, plan the day to consider those decisions during a thinking zone time period. Not only will the decision process take less time, the thinking zone can also improve decision making.

 

Time Management: Working in the Right Environment for the Right Activity—The Reading Zone

Most of us perform our daily tasks at our desk near the computer. Often this is not the best place to do certain activities or priority tasks that take more concentration and less distraction. Activities such as strategic thinking, reading, writing and development often require a different environment to assist in changing the mindset to help perform those tasks more quickly and efficiently. An advantage of technology tools, telework and remote work environments is that workers can now utilize the right environment for the right activity.

Here is one type of zone environment each worker should have ;

 Reading zone

We are in an information age, and most workers receive a large amount of data that merely needs to be read. Although workers have great intentions to read those e-newsletters, magazines and journals, it often doesn’t become priority because other tasks supersede reading, especially when one is positioned in the active-communications zone.

Trying to read in the active-communication zone is generally not effective, and reading will always be pushed aside for more immediate and quick actions. If reading is an essential component to a person’s job and business, consider finding an environment that is quiet, free from interruptions and distractions and away from the active-communication zone. Some workers enjoy reading in a coffee shop, conference room, commuting to and from work, at home or at a separate location within the office such as a side table, sofa or chair. To read effectively and absorb the necessary information consider finding a reading zone area.