late New Year’s resolution, document!

Published on: January 26th, 2016

If it is not too late, my New Year’s resolution is to document, document, and document. We are the only creatures around that can externalize thought, ideas, and solutions to a non-living thing like paper or computer. One nifty idea, as far as “writing things down”, is when you go to bed at night, thoughts racing through your head, keeping you up, have a notepad by the bed and write the thoughts down to get them out of your head.

Besides a potential insomnia solution, we all know there are other merits to documentation. Proper documentation shows professionalism and can be used in legal issues. But to me, most importantly, documentation can save you time. The right information, written down, can save you from having to contact a person again to ask for the information. In my technical world, it can save you from having to go onsite again to find the information.

With all these mobile devices that people have close by, documentation becomes highly convenient. With some type of cloud service your notes are easily synced to the Internet and back to a computer. Back on the computer, you can more comfortable view, edit and cut and paste to another program. I personally now use Microsoft One Note with Office 365 which (with a Business Associate Agreement) is HIPAA complaint.

I still plan on carrying around and sometimes using a notepad for back up, but digital via a mobile device will be my main for several reasons. Mobile devices, like my Samsung Galaxy Note, offer a stylus if you are more comfortable doing the writing motion like with pen and paper. A couple big advantages to having notes in electronic format are that your notes are now searchable and easily backed up. Also, I found I am more likely to lose a notepad then my mobile device. And If you do “fall off the grid”, there are location services for your mobile device. Nothing like that with the notepad. And short of an old school diary with lock and key, your information on a notepad can’t be secured via encryption.

So my New Year’s resolution is not be in such a hurry that I let documentation slide. Because if I do, I know later I will be left scratching my head, trying to remember, or contacting someone and apologize as I try to get the information when I could have wrote it down in the first place.



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