I much prefer a computer to a notepad. My handwritten notes take longer to write and find. They are also never neat. Back when I was on Windows, I kept my notes in text documents in a folder, again organizing into folders because I thought it was the most efficient for retrieval. Back then, desktop search wasn’t great even with indexing turned on. It was also a slow process because when a meeting started and I needed to take notes, I wanted to create a new text document in a folder where it would be stored so it took about 15 seconds to open Notepad, navigate to the folder to save, and then give it a filename.
I’m an avid notetaker so I typically take notes in every meeting, 1:1, and interview. I even copy and paste code snippets and commands when I’m writing code or managing infrastructure because chances are, I’ll need to reference it again. I switched from text documents to Evernote about 4 years ago and then over to Bear last year. It holds all my notes for myself now. I only organize notes into two sections: personal and work. Evernote was great because it worked across many platforms, but I’m exclusively on the Apple platform now so I can use Bear which also supports code snippets and markdown which is critical for me.
Now it’s extremely quick to add notes and find notes. These note taking apps have allowed me to optimize my workflow so I can transition between meetings quickly and I no longer worry about finding notes or code snippets.
I did recently separate todo items from notes because the lists became difficult to maintain.