Not that my handwriting is anything to envy, but I feel upset sometimes when I find writing on paper a difficult exercise. I feel jealous of note takers. Some of my colleagues are notorious note takers. Note books and a ready pen appear by magic in their hands. They never forget to have a pen or pencil at an easy reach. This happens at any time of the day and lack of notice never affects them. They get up from their workstation and the notebook also gets ready to go with them.
I realized that one of the reasons of becoming dependant on the laptop is the lack of note taking. I felt smart that I can take notes on the fly using the Notepad, or the Word. However shoving your head in to the laptop screen is plain bad manners amongst some culture and in any case you lose some key interaction in the audience.
In a recent assignment I had an opportunity to do away with the laptop and conduct series of meetings with plain book and pen approach. In hindsight I am very satisfied and looking over the notes I realize that not only I have actually jotted down nearly all of required detail but also some interesting pieces of conversation in verbatim and some jottings relating to other aspects as well. By noting in the laptop on the fly I do not think I would have a better success.
Another interesting thing I noticed was during many of the meetings I had used the whiteboard in the meeting room to communicate something more intricate or depict something abstract as the part of the discussion. This proved very effective.
Now unless the situation actually demands use of a laptop or an electronic note taking becomes inevitable, as in a meeting relating to reporting status etc. I believe the paper and pencil approach is probably better.
A bit retrograde do you think?