notebook and laptop stock image

another way to document, as you go

Yes, I’m back on the topic of documentation again today.

I always have a notebook near-at-hand and find it’s one of the easiest ways to quickly document my business. While I could keep it all in my head, I know that’s not a good idea. I could forget or easily skip a step.

Perhaps you’ve heard the term Institutional Knowledge batted about. If you’re a solopreneur you probably laughed. You are the everything of your business. Why should a bit of jargon make you do extra work?

Memory is fragile.

I don’t take mine for granted.For myself, or for my business.

I prefer to use a notebook because it’s technology I trust and have throughout my career. Yes, it could get soaked in a rainstorm (it’s why I prefer certain inks over others), or the notebook could be lost or stolen.

Could that happen with digital technology? Depending on the choices I make for an application or format, yes.

I’m not saying be a Luddite, but for digital notes, I prefer plain text files over any other format.

“As I Go” documentation example

What might a page in my notebook look like? Here is an example in the format I’ve used for years. It’s a mix of log and notes.

Each morning I write the date and known deadlines and appointments. Then I skip a line and get writing. Notes and tasks get mixed up together. For example, last Thursday I began with three important tasks and an appointment:

  • blog post
  • review [client] site
  • outline changes [client]
  • onsite [client] 10-5
example logbook page

Then my daily log notes begin.

It’s these notes that become my quick documentation. If it’s important information (or part of a larger whole), then it often gets its own page in the logbook. While I don’t subscribe hook, line, and sinker to the bullet journal method, it has good documentation and simplified how I explain my system.

Why go this route? I believe that some documentation is better than none.

notebook, pen, laptop on desk

The most important thing is to get it out of your head and either into a notebook or a digital file. Your experience and memory is important. Protect it!