Monday, March 22, 2010

Note Taking in the Office On a Zaurus?

In my job, I take a LOT of notes.

I have the title of IT Manager for a management company.  Fascinating place, the people are fascinating and there's a lot for me to learn and grow into.

But I'm not writing about them... specifically.

You see, with any new job, you have a lot to learn (yes, I said that sort of).  With the learning, you end up taking a lot of notes.

I started there trying to remember things then write them down onto a word document and that rapidly fell away.   If you have a good memory, then you're fine, but most folks have found themselves using that great external memory bank.

That would be what you're doing now, surfing and searching the internet for information.   In this specific case, my own blather, but in general I say "The Internet Knows All So Go Search For It".  I have spent full days of more than 8 hours at work plus hours at home doing nothing but research for products to make our job easier at work.  We all have our own personal favorite search engine, and I've gotten quite good at finding products and making comparisons.  Just ask me about Security DVR's, I dare you!

The problem is that when you start a job, any job, there is always a back log of tasks that got missed or simply ignored.  That's just part of work, it's normal, and should be expected.  When you're a new and shiny employee you just don't have all the information and don't quite know what to ask, but you do know that when you're there "on the ground" you will have a lot of questions to ask.

If I can give a new hire any suggestion, it is this:  Never leave your office without an adequate way to take down notes!

I did that for a bit and found myself floored trying to remember which of the present five things that my co-workers said that I missed and realized that if I leave my desk without my trusty notepad, I am not properly earning my keep.  It has gotten so that if I do leave my note pad on my desk I am asked where it is.

It is hard to miss, it is large, Aluminium, and folds up to cover my notes.  In a pinch I am sure it could be used as a security device.  I do not mean a security blanket although I find myself fidgeting with it in meetings while I'm thinking about some of the other tasks I have to do.

Bottom line is that I have gotten very good at taking lots of notes, then transposing them into that word document.   The document is well over 20,000 words at this point so it may be considered more of a blog.

And there's the problem.  How do you search something like that?

I used to do the note taking on an old Palm Pilot.  Palm 3C (Color) or a Sony Clie.   Nice machines for their time but they do present limitations.

Courtesy of a very good friend who was my programmer up in Philadelphia, I now have a Sharp Zaurus SL-6000.  I have just spent a weekend going through web pages trying to find just the right environment to install onto the thing because I can use it as a full computer.   Once I get the environment "stable" I will be bringing it to work to try it out, but for now I am back to Pad and Paper and hoping for the best.

Thank you, Joe B.  You've done me a lot of good... the check will be in the mail tomorrow morning!

Really it will be...The Mail box is right in front of the desk at work if I can get away from the office without the note pad!


  1. get an iPhone! HUGS..Carter

  2. Carter

    Funny you say that. I'm 6 mos into a 2 year contract. The problem is that and that the iPhone doesn't have a way to connect to a network other than wifi. But I've been considering it.