Taking notes

From Faster Than 20

Brooking Gatewood described it as "holy note-taking!" and wrote:

I call it holy because we basically treat note-taking as a sacred act at Groupaya. At first this drove me nuts and seemed excessive. But over time I’ve come to see the value of having written record for internal meetings, and how it speaks to a level of care for our work, and a strong value on transparency (all our notes are visible to the whole team in a Google Drive).
With clients, the value is incredibly high — both in terms of giving us a shared display (when using Google Docs) to organize everyone’s attention, and modeling what we’re often trying to teach around good ‘info hygiene’ as we call it, and transparent note-taking and documentation of key take-aways and next steps.

Developmental Path

Crawl Walk Run Fly

Capture decisions made and next steps

Capture key takeaways

Capture and synthesize useful context

Facilitate via note-taking


  • Capture clarity, not confusion


  • Shared responsibility for better collaboration breaks down into two things: greater literacy around how to convene and mastering the shared artifact. Maybe show the Group Process model I've been toying with
  • Tic-Tac-Toe
  • Simply having a shared display buys you a lot. The nuances are about:
    • Design principle: Leverage work you're already doing. Michael Idinopulos's notion of "In-The-Flow" vs "Above-The-Flow"
    • Where that display goes
    • Size of display
      • MG Taylor: Work Big
      • Research about display size and productivity
  • All of this is about shared literacy around space and collaboration
  • Assume you have this literacy, next step is about what goes on the display. And when that display is shared, things get more complicated
    • Consider individual note-taking
      • Bob Horn story
      • Track down that picture of Bryan Coffman's notes
      • Have people show their notebooks
      • Individual goals around notes:
        • Record (transcriptive vs interpretive)
        • Synthesis (recording helps understanding)
    • What about shared note-taking?
      • Co-creative / collaborative does not necessarily mean that everyone has an equal say / role
  • Tension between shared vs individual. The tool can only do so much
    • World Cafe pictures -- shared or not?
    • But the tool can do something
      • Post-its for brainstorming
      • Passing templates around
  • Tension between transcriptive vs interpretive vs evocative (extreme of interpretive)
    • Model-building
    • Christopher Alexander
    • LiveScribe
    • Hypertext
    • Proust and Nigeria
  • Digital?
    • "Social objects" in social media parlance are the same as shared artifacts

See Also

  • Eugene Eric Kim's brown bags in San Francisco on November 10, 2011 and in Portland at XPLANE / Dachis Group on November 15, 2011