Sketching – New rules for meetings

During June, why not try something different in a meeting and sketch your notes instead of typing them up – let us know how you get on and whether it worked for you and if you can why not share some of your sketches with us.

We’ve included some tips and ideas on how you might capture your meeting differently

How to capture

Whiteboards

Fill your workspace with whiteboards so you can easily take shared notes. Fixed whiteboards (attached to the wall) are OK but movable whiteboards (on wheels) are better.

Post-it Notes

Write down individual ideas, questions, or UI elements on Post-its. Then you can easily post, cluster, and organize your notes later.

Smartphones

As you work, take photos of notes and drawings with your smartphone. The camera on your iPhone or Android is good enough to capture high-quality images of your work. You can email, print, upload, or manipulate these later.

Dropbox/Google Drive/Sharepoint

At the end of the meeting, upload the photos from your smartphone directly to a shared Dropbox, Google Drive or sharepoint folder (You need to be mindful of the sensitivity of the content before you share it on the internet). It’s fast and easy, and gives everyone on your team immediate access to the output of the meeting.

Some principles to keep in mind

Don’t repeat yourself

When you capture every important idea or concept, you’ll find it easier to avoid repetitive discussions. During the sprint, if we started down a path that seemed familiar, we would look around the room at everything we’d captured to see if we were repeating ourselves. If so, we could say, “You know what, we already captured that,” and move on.

If you can’t capture it, stop talking

If you find yourself unable to capture your conversation, it may not be that valuable.

Write down or sketch everything important

This is easier than it sounds. For example:

  • If you’re comparing two things, just make a two-column table and write out the differences.
  • If you’re talking about a bunch of features, write them down on Post-its and sort them on the wall.
  • If you’re brainstorming a concept, sketch it out. This immediately shows you whether everyone is thinking of the same thing. You might find that other people jump in to help complete the sketch.

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