Lose the notebook?
April 28, 2014 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Made a joyful career change and now work in recruitment. My new job requires logging of all interactions into a CRM. I also have a paper notebook. Things go into the paper notes but do not always end up on the computer. I estimate I am not accounting for 40% of what I could get credit for. I think that the notebook being an actual book matters. I have started setting appointments to remind myself of mundane activities, but that is not enough. Has anyone abolished taking written notes in pursuit of putting everything onto a computer? What has kept you going?
posted by parmanparman to Work & Money (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Are these notes you take at meetings and need to transcribe later, or are they notes you could enter into the computer right away but enter into the notebook instead?
posted by michaelh at 12:40 PM on April 28, 2014

What CRM? Do you have a smartphone? We may be able to recommend apps etc.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:40 PM on April 28, 2014

If your CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) has an app with it, download to a tablet, or to your phone.

Or use your laptop to fill in the blanks as you go along. If your pages aren't organized in a logical way, either change the way you're doing your questioning (follow the layout on the page) or ask the CRM development team to review the layout to make it more intutive.

I mean, I don't print out my email, do you? When email first came into offices (on the backs of brontosauri) I knew managers who would write out emails for secretaries to type into email, and who would print out the emails for filing.

Just shift how you think of your information storage, and view the CRM as your first line of defence. Use your notebook for things that you don't put into the CRM.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:44 PM on April 28, 2014

Take photos of your notes, upload to CRM? Use a voice recorder on your computer or smartphone that transforms speech to text, and save as text file?
posted by KokuRyu at 1:02 PM on April 28, 2014

I use Google Keep for this sort of thing, but Evernote might do the trick. You could even voice-create an email or something.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:03 PM on April 28, 2014

Evernote + Moleskine?
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:15 PM on April 28, 2014

I used to manage a small helpdesk and let my workers track their calls via whatever method worked for them as long as they put their monthly log into a central spreadsheet. I generally got better, faster, and more complete results from those who tracked their calls on a local copy of the spreadsheet at call time. The notebook people tended to be slow in getting their calls logged and I am doubtful that they actually logged them all.

Ultimately though I think the difference was in the workers' differing attitudes about having to log calls. Those who understood the importance of prompt and thorough logging tended to use the spreadsheet and turn in good results. Those who felt the exercise was a waste of time kept track any which way and lots of details were lost. Their job security was not dependent on this call log which probably accounted for some of the apathy towards it.

If it were me I would examine why only 40% is making it in now. If you can improve your existing process you don't have to change everything about how you work. Are you dedicated to getting your stuff into the CRM promptly? That seems like the bigger thing to work on no matter your method.
posted by cabingirl at 1:17 PM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Integrate into the task, and make it a ritual to catch the rest.

Keep the CRM open and just type the notes directly into the "comment" box of the record during the call. At 4:15 everyday, go through your sent emails and your calendar and see if you missed anything.
posted by amaire at 3:46 PM on April 28, 2014

My partner is in recruitment and paper is the bane of his existence. They have to use it (notes during interviews/on site) and transcribing is just balls. He manages by making it non-negotiable - as soon as he's back at his desk, that's what he does (unless there's an urgent thing). Everything is caught up at the end of the week if necessary. He has good typing skills though, and is comfortable with the system, unlike workmates who hunt and peck and can't use the system, and whose notes pile up for weeks.
posted by geek anachronism at 5:30 PM on April 28, 2014

The way I handle my paper notes (I mostly have stickies and meeting notes) is to physically mark everything that has been converted to electronic form. And then be diligent about going through and looking for unmarked text, and entering it.
posted by anaelith at 4:56 AM on May 2, 2014

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