The trusty notepad

I stumbled across a great article today which brilliantly raises one of my bug bares when I attend a meeting. And I’ve sat in hundreds of meetings with plenty of lovely clients and fascinating suppliers.

Laptop lovers look away now. But when someone spends the duration of the time together tapping away on their laptops, or simply with it open in front of them throughout. My heart sinks a little.

As a designer who works onscreen everyday, and considers my Apple an absolutely integral part of my toolkit, I know how they can feel like your right arm. And how it can feel like it’s impossible to get stuff done efficiently without it. But I equally know how tempting it is to quickly open and read an email from an important sender. It won’t take a moment. Or check your social media notifications in case someone has liked your latest beautifully crafted 140 character masterpiece.

Meetings and first-hand conversations are important. So please put the laptop back in your rucksack or handbag!

To me the sketchbook or a notepad is more appropriate and respectful.

I use mine to scribbling notes (even though my handwriting isn’t great) and simply for jotting stuff down, or drawing a random idea which is triggered by something someone said. It’s far more enjoyable and productive I find. Call it “old skool” or out of date if you like, but to me it’s still a vital piece of my daily working day armour.

I know in some meetings there’s lots of information to digest and remember. So typing is quicker and easier to share.

Don’t get me wrong, I would be lost without my handheld device(s), which I have become weirdly addicted to over the last 5 years. But it’s not the same.

It’s the interaction in meetings which is the reason to be there in my opinion. Sitting down and actually looking at and listening to one another, and properly engaging with our fellow human being to discuss the project specification, or schedule, or to try to understand a clients problem or challenge is not to be underestimated.

Plus of course the relationship you build with your client is unlikely to last if it’s got a screen in the way.

So there. Laptops are great, but not in meetings.

Controversial or common sense what do you reckon?