Monday, May 23, 2016

Note Taking

Over the years, I have taken reams of notes and analyzed hours of video often with either written comments or voice over.  The big problem is that I almost never go back and review my notes.  For a short time I even tried two different spreadsheets for tackling the problem.  One spreadsheet was for categorizing types of errors (contacts, failing to support an obstacle until Will was committed, late cues, etc.).  The other was an attempt to make comments on different types of exercises we tackled.  The second spreadsheet turned into way too big a project and was basically no better than taking notes and storing them in the computer.

I also took a stab at creating my own flashcards to serve as reminder notes.  For example:

The process of creating the flashcards was kind of tedious though, and I wasn't real good about keeping them up.

A couple of months ago, I came up with a solution that was somewhat similar to the flash cards, but seemed to be a little more useable for me.  I create a Word document that includes a course map and a few notes, and, often times, my handling path.  I then save it as a PDF file and make my annotations and comments using the comment and text capabilities of the free Adobe PDF Reader.  Here's an example:

  Once I made my notes, I save the file with the original title plus "annotated."  By adding the same word, "annotated," I can do a document search and review all the notes I've made or copy them to my Nexus so I can review them when I have a spare moment.

What I really like about the comment markers is that you can place them at the key points on the course, but you don't obscure the course with the written word.

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