How to Write it Down

Any note-taking method works . . . as long as it ticks these boxes

Last week I wrote about the importance of taking notes after each meeting and networking event, even if there's no immediate business opportunity to push through your funnel. Writing down the topics that were discussed and your counterpart's goals and needs is the best way to develop a sincere relationship over time.

There are obviously tons of ways to take notes and I've got my preference but I do think that any method has to meet a few criteria:

  • Exist in the cloud. I'm all for pen and paper during meetings but if you want to create a durable and easily accessible record of your relationships it ought to live in the cloud.
  • Permit organization and individual profiles. While this post is about relationships where there is no immediate business opportunity, I nevertheless think it's important to be able to draw connections based on the organizations your contacts are associated with.
  • Note taking. Um, obviously you need to be easily be able to take free text notes. Bonus points for formatting options but not at all necessary.
  • Task scheduling. Building relationships requires recalling what happened previously but it also requires remembering that people exist. So, you should be able to attach reminders to contacts.
  • Tagging. Clearly, labeling people is bad but I think tagging them in your own personal database is good. How else are you going to remember all of your friends and acquaintances who are into "food" or do "business development" or love "soccer".

I've surveyed some business development colleagues around town and next week's post will highlight a couple options that more or less meet these criteria.