Like most bloggers, I am subscribed to quite a number of RSS feeds. Most of these I try to read as often as possible, many of these I seldom read, but there are a small number of feeds I read daily.
One of these is the Quotations Page.
Here’s one witty and cynical quote that I read today:
Bureaucrats write memoranda both because they appear to be busy when they are writing and because the memos, once written, immediately become proof that they were busy.
– Charles Peters
This quote immediately struck a chord in me, as I felt that it perfectly encapsulated the corporate world I know (if you replace “memoranda” with “documents”). However, I have a different opinion on this.
One of my long-standing nicknames is “Flash ROM“, due to the extremely volatile characteristics of my memory (actually, Flash ROMs are anything but volatile – but my nickname came from a pun on the concept that these are a kind of ROM that can be easily erased). Anyway, due to this problem of mine, I have picked up a habit of recording as much as I possibly can, for future reference.
Here is another quote, which reflect my sentiments:
I write down everything I want to remember. That way, instead of spending a lot of time trying to remember what it is I wrote down, I spend the time looking for the paper I wrote it down on.
– Beryl Pfizer
This habit of mine naturally extends to even my workplace, and I habitually try (if at all possible) to prepare an outline of any meeting I attend. If these notes were recorded in a paper notepad, I periodically digitize them into my computer (usually using EverNote). This has proven to be a life-saver on numerous occasions.
Let’s take one example (albeit exaggerated) scenario:
You’re sure someone said something minor in a meeting 4 months ago. That minor point has suddenly become a major issue, but you can’t remember the details for the life of you. Since it was considered a minor point at that time, it was not written in the minutes of that meeting.
If this happens to me, I can pull out the outline of that meeting from EverNote within minutes.
That’s why I write memoranda.