Do you have a desk covered with scraps of paper or Post-It Notes or both: phone messages, reminders of things to do, phone numbers, product ideas, etc.? That’s what my desk used to look like. Many of those scraps of paper found their way into file folders or fell behind my desk, or worked their way under my blotter, lost until they accidentally reappeared weeks or months later. Oh, that’s where it went!!
Then, one day, I came across a suggestion posted on a bulletin board for publishers that I used to monitor. The poster related how she used a simple, spiral-bound notebook to record everything that happened at her desk: phone calls, reminders, things to do, etc. It became a sort of diary of her daily business life.
I began to use her system that very morning. I got in the habit of recording the date and times of incoming and outgoing phone calls with brief notes about the conversations. Notes regarding orders, tracking numbers, marketing ideas, things to do, and rough outlines for projects all found their way into the pages of my notebooks. Some of this information got transferred to other documents and recorded in a more formal manner, but the notebook became my main source for information about my daily activities. On many occasions the information in the notebook has saved me when I needed the exact date and time of a conversation to resolve a delivery or customer service issue with either a vendor or customer. Names and phone numbers that I thought were of no further use were retrieved from the notebook’s pages days, weeks, or sometimes months later when it turned out that I did, indeed, need them.
In this day of smart-phones and tablet computers, the simple, spiral-bound notebook may be your best bet for collection of raw data pertaining to your daily business activities.