Document Everything

1 Sep

It can be overwhelming enough just getting used to your first 9 to 5 job since studying; you don’t want to also be completely clueless about the technology and systems you have been hired to support.  However, it is most likely to be the case that you won’t know much about anything.  That’s why it’s important to learn to document everything,

If you went to university, you would most likely already be used to note taking – that’s a great start, and the same technique will serve you right during your career.  However, instead of writing down ideas and notes about lecture slides, you will be jotting down notes about the clients systems, how they work, and how to troubleshoot them.

Carry around a fresh notebook and pen so that you can scribble down anything that is discovered, or taught to you.  If you know how to write in shorthand, that will make this easier.  The key is to write down your notes in a way that will allow you to come back to them later and understand what the note means.  There is nothing worse than writing down some obscure, but important note – only to come back to it later, and find only a cryptic phrase or symbol to greet you.

If you are comfortable taking down legible notes, you might want to consider a personal system to translate them to something more permanent and useful.  For example, after filling up a notebook, you might wish to enter the most important notes into an electronic document on your workstation, so that you can save, backup and search it at your leisure.  Personally, I use Microsoft OneNote to store my most important details, and allow them to save to a OneNote document on the Microsoft SkyDrive cloud environment – so that I can reach these handy notes and tid-bits anywhere I go (including my mobile phone).

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