Thursday, 15 May 2014

Notebook's back, alright!

A recurring theme for me in writing this blog has been about taking responsibility for development and how we can take control of how we learn and adapt what we do as a result of this learning. I think I've reached a point where I need to change, in order to make sure I am performing at a level that I am happy with.

I've been committed for a long time to working in a paper light way. I take a tablet to meetings and my desk is clear of paper. I started doing this in a previous role as I felt I was getting swamped with paper, and was finding that I was losing track of things. My role required me to take notes in meetings, and write letters based in those notes, so it made sense to do this on a laptop so I could copy and paste as appropriate.

I continued this in my current role in Staff Development, but I have become more frustrated with this more recently. I've felt that my tablet is getting in the way of being able to take the notes I want to. Partly it's to do with my tablet getting a bit old and slow, partly it's my typing speed, but the thing that really bothers me is that I can't get it to capture my thoughts in the way I want to.

I find myself thinking more visually than I used to, and wanting to draw more pictures and diagrams to show connections between ideas. I've not been able to find an app that will achieve what I want, so I'm going to pick up pen and paper again.

It was surprisingly difficult to write that sentence, as it can be hard to commit to change how you are going to work, but I think I will be able to perform more effectively by making this change. I will be using the function within Evernote to take pictures of my notebook so that my notes are accessible from wherever I am, which is an aspect of online note taking that has been a real benefit. I may have to use my tablet or my phone to read meeting papers, but that's OK.

Despite this change, my desk will still remain clear of paper! After all, HR has won a gold Green Impact award.

So what have I learnt in doing this? I have learnt that it is within my power to both anticipate areas for personal improvement, and to act on making these changes. I have also learnt that we don't have to always do things in the same way, and that what was once the right way for you, can become the wrong way. Again, it is within my power to make necessary changes to how I do things.