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THE ICON MARCH 2006 EDITION
 
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What Happens To All Those Notes I Take at ICON Meetings?

by Donna DeJong
 

In an effort to retain information that will be of use to me later, I often take notes in a variety of ways during the presentation of an ICON program.

For example, some notes are written on scraps of paper because at the time I did not have a notebook with me. At the last two meetings, the only paper I had available was the back of a Wal-Mart receipt and the margins of a church bulletin. I tape these note scraps to the wall by my computer.

More expansive notes are put into a manila file folder and carefully labeled with the topic name.

Sometimes I bring a notebook to a meeting. This makes me feel very organized and responsible. These notebooks are unrelated – the only thing they have in common is that they all have a few pages left in them that I didn’t want to waste. They accumulate in a notebook heap where the information is difficult to unearth.

Often, when taking notes, I write only some keywords with the hope that those keywords will jump start my memory later. These notes are sketchy and incomplete, so what I read later is cryptic at best, perhaps better described as encrypted.

Lately at the presentations I have been trying a new approach: just sit, listen, and think – then go directly to the computer when I get home and use the information immediately when I get home. This bold approach assumes that I can retain the information for the length of time it takes me to drive from the meeting to home.

Collectively, my notes are in a variety of formats. I need to partition off some time to browse through them a bit, compile and interpret, then re-format and upgrade my note filing system, copy some notes, delete others, while I byte a few cookies and drink a little Java – that should help me zip right through the project.

Thanks to all who, in presenting programs at the ICON meetings, at SIG groups, within the ICON forums, or during general conversation, state and restate the steps and procedures, so that I am able to fill in the gaps of information I may have missed the first, second, or third time around.

 

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