Call notes are like getting regular service for your car: you can keep pretending that you don’t need to do them, but sooner or later, you won’t be able to get anywhere.
The development director’s responsibility for call notes is clear. Even those that are naturally inclined toward recalling details can improve the quality of their follow-up by using call notes. Even more importantly, call notes provide vital continuity in the organization’s institutional memory when the development director leaves.
That said, the executive director has an especially critical need to create call notes.
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There is a simple trick to standing out during your meetings and continuing to impress afterward. It’s so simple that it’s astounding that not very many people do it. What’s the trick? Schedule time in your calendar to prepare for and follow-up from meetings. When you schedule a meeting, you should actually add three appointments to your calendar.
Schedule Time to Prepare for Meetings
It doesn’t take long to prepare for most meetings — usually no more than 10 minutes. Sometimes you have the 10 minutes available just before the meeting, but more often than not, you are running in and out of meetings most of the day. The key here is to schedule a time when you’ll prepare: maybe it’s over morning coffee, or in several blocks of time in the afternoon. Whenever you do it, start your day knowing exactly when you’ll prepare.