Notebook Fundamentalism [Link]

January 18, 2013 by Gabe | [mmd] | ℳ↫

It's hard to take this article at HBR seriously.1 The first sentence captures the entire sentiment:

I knew right away, when you walked in here with a paper notebook — a paper notebook! — I realized that this meeting was not going to be a good use of our time.

Or how about this darling:

Maybe you believe that the act of handwriting improves your memory of what was discussed. Of course, a digital notebook means you don't have to remember anything, because, you'll have a complete, legible and searchable record of the entire meeting.

I think I can give Alexandra Samuel a bit of a break. She probably doesn't work with humans. She probably doesn't solve multi-dimensional problems that require quick visualization with and without a collaborator. She's probably inexperienced with synthesizing meaningful knowledge into a cohesive narrative or hypothesis. She probably really likes her office.

Scott Berkun has a nice reply message to Alexandria's personal message of disdain.

I’ve yet to work in a place where taking notes was a major concern for meetings. I’ve never heard of a notes crisis, or had teams complain they were overwhelmed with the burdens of writing, transcribing and reading notes.

  1. It's hard to take the article in the context of the title. It's almost a parody of itself.