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How digital tools have reimagined the note taking process

Paper and ink or the keyboard and digital stylus? It’s a popular debate and one that does not have a singular answer. The instrument of choice may vary between individuals and scenarios – and with many hybrid notebook tools on the market, such as Remarkable and Moleskin, individuals can access the best of both worlds. It is important to begin this blog by stressing that its aim is not to convince anyone to abandon either option. Instead, this looks to explore how digital tools have reimagined note taking and how this may inform when one chooses to use digital tools for their notes.

Making note taking collaborative

Digital tools elevate the note taking process by making note taking collaborative. Rather than having to spend time cross referencing individual notes, which may be inconsistently formatted and disparate, with tools such as Microsoft Teams and Box users can co-author content, collaborating on notes in real time, anywhere, any time.
Additionally, tools such as Microsoft Whiteboard can be integrated into Teams. Whiteboard allows meeting attendees to collaborate on a joint blank canvas, adding images, text, and ink. This offers the visual and creative freedom of a pen and paper, whilst also providing the inherent advantages of digital notes – ease of collaboration and simple cloud storage. To find out more about meeting whiteboards, check out our blog ‘Teams Tips: The 10 Microsoft Teams capabilities you might be missing out on’.

Read out 'Teams Tips' blog here

Making note taking flexible

The most obvious disadvantage to paper-based notes is the need for manual re-keying to store or share them with remote team members. In comparison, digital equivalents can be stored in the cloud, shared easily, and copied or moved as required in only a matter of clicks. Additionally, the digital nature of these notes allows them to operate iteratively if needed, constantly being updated. This ensures all relevant information can be stored in one location, making searching for content or data a much simpler affair.

Making note taking easily actionable

The marriage of note taking and team organisation tools within platforms such as Microsoft Teams allows teams to make and action notes efficiently, within one central location. For example, within Teams, notes may be actioned using a planner tab within a team channel, in which tasks can be created, assigned, and given a deadline.
Or even more simply, comments left in co-authored or shared Office 365 documents can be assigned, meaning leaving notes and assigning actions can be achieved simultaneously.
Finally, the ability to integrate idea management tools, such as Valo Ideas, into Microsoft Teams allows noted ideas to be shared and discussed at an organisation wide level. Valo Ideas delivers an experience that empowers teams across all organisations to ideate and co-innovate to build their dream workplace. The app is based on the Microsoft Teams platform so that people can start their innovation right where they are working.

This examination of digital note taking tools suggests that perhaps when notes are in relation to a collaborative process or operation, it is advantageous to create these digitally. Digital tools allow for real-time collaboration, accommodating flexible working styles and locations, and allowing tasks to be easily actioned and assigned across teams, with information easily accessible to refer to. Therefore, digital notes can support efficient working within modern working teams. This is not to say that the advantages of digital note taking do not carry over into individual note taking or planning, simply that personal preference can afford to play a greater role here as these notes do not need to be shared.

To find out more about the capabilities of Microsoft Teams or Box, get in touch with our specialists today. Call 0191 4770365, email enquiries@teamsynergi.co.uk, or complete the form below.

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