A Story About a Note-Taking Fail

I was utterly embarrassed when I lost some notes.

Anna Burgess Yang
3 min readJul 26, 2021


Image created via Midjourney

I have been something of an insane note-taker forever.

My combination of chicken-scratch handwriting and bizarre methodology means that my notes are meaningless to anyone other than me, but I could go back later, and the notes would be enough to jog my memory.

Immediately after any meeting, I would add any follow-up items to my to-do list (Todoist is my favorite).

  • Decisions made would be documented in a project management tool or email
  • Information about customers would go into a CRM.
  • The notes mostly captured the spirit of the meeting, the order in which information was discussed
  • Sometimes a word or two that indicated my own feelings on the topic (like “great news!” or “headdesk”)

When I was moved into a management role years ago, it became more important to capture details about meetings — both with my co-executives and the team that reported to me. I hadn’t been in the habit of saving notebooks for long after they were filled, but my new responsibilities often came with scenarios where I had to go back and refer to my notes later. I tried to transcribe my notes into something more meaningful, so I could still toss my notebook, but it was far too time-consuming.

Instead, I started using Rocketbook. I would write my notes on the reusable pages, and scan the pages with the Rocketbook app on my phone. Save the pages to OneNote along with meeting details (date/time/attendees). Wipe the pages clean and start over.

Then earlier this year, I decided to embark on a new career path. I left the world of product management and entered the worlds of content marketing and journalism. I came well-equipped with the organizational skills to absorb a lot of new information, including my note-taking habits.

However, through this career shift, I was exposed to something new, something that I didn’t even know existed: transcripts. Mind. Blown. I literally had no idea that I could take an audio recording and have a transcript automatically created.

I saw the obvious benefits. I could ensure that any quotes were accurate. I could…



Anna Burgess Yang

Productivity geek + solopreneur with niche expertise. #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. • https://start.annabyang.com/