Saturday, August 22, 2009

Note Writing

Are you a note writer? I am. And I write all kinds of notes.

Considering I spend 80% of my waking hours at work (or at work related pursuits) a majority of my ‘notes’ currently are ‘MS word documents’ inanely saved as ‘notes_1’ or ‘BD_details’ or ‘minutes of call’. Labels which are extremely unhelpful when I am rushing for a meeting and have to refer to those most important notes which I know I made and saved! (MS Word hasn’t yet invented the kind of complex search algorithms I need.) Yeah, yeah I know- filing and folders would save me a lot of time but I’ll dedicate a complete blog entry on ‘filing skills’- both ‘e’ and ‘paper’. (All you ‘methodical/ organized types’- watch out for that oneJ)

The other notes I make are in an excel sheet based To-Do list. I rather like my excel to-dos, and I have a fairly complex color coding to indicate the high priority, medium-high priority, low priority, things Ill never do but want on my list areas etc. The sheet is updated as often as three to four times a day and makes for interesting reading (for me at least) once in a few months.

There was however a time, not too long back, when I did not have access to MS Word, a laptop and a phone (yes, I do remember that time!) when most of my notes, were handwritten and fell into two broad categories: a) handwritten to-do lists in a small pocket diary and b) notes to my roommates (paying guests, hostels) over the years. When I had something important to tell someone for instance: a) telling a close friend that I was upset with the way she treated me at dinner last night (these are defining moments in the lives of 16 year old girls, btw) or b) acknowledging that I had a crush to the crush, I‘d make notes of the key points to be covered during the conversation. Often, I’d also write down full sentences (the hard parts, where you have to tell someone that you care about them or sometimes that you don’t) and read them over and over again, practicing how I would actually say it when I would be face to face with the person.

I have some of these notes, and they emerge from the cob-webs once in a while, during house shifting exercises. Reading these hand written memos (usually on paper which is withering away) is a chilling experience- transporting you back into that moment of time when you felt so deeply about something. (And trust me, the ‘post-it’ application on your desktop doesn’t quite make the cut!)

If you are a note-writer you know exactly what I’m talking about here; if you aren’t, it’s never to late to start...