Monday, 26 March 2012

Agile note taking – Introducing “The Note Card”

You know index cards? I started using them for Agile note taking.

There’s several reasons why I dislike notepads:

  • they’re too big to carry
  • they have many pages
  • I always forget them
  • I spend ages trying to find out my notes
  • they have brands and some are shinier than other

I have been experimenting using index cards for taking notes for a while and I have recently “formalised” my method by combining short notes with priority highlighting and action indication.

There’s several reasons why I like Agile note taking

  • index cards are light & small
  • the size forces me to be concise with my notes
  • the size forces me to select what to record
  • I can carry the card with me and throw it away once all actions are done
  • usually nobody else is using the method

It really is very simple – have a look at the picture (notes are blurred to hide client related information) :

NoteCard

You can build whatever shapes you like (I prefer square like shapes) and write your notes the way you prefer. I enjoy building a uneven brick-like wall by avoiding straight lines and using curves here and there. I then indicate actions by using the (A) sign, highlight the urgent & important things using orange and non urgent but important using green, whatever blocks are left uncoloured are just for information and that’s it.  The colours could be different of course as long as you know what is what which is why I sometimes add a little legend at the end.

As you can see Agile note taking is cool – and you can try it anytime you feel like it, after all you only need an index card and a pen.

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