Even in these days of Netbooks, Tablets and Evernote I still find that a simple pad of paper and a basic pen or pencil is a vital thing to carry round.
Ultra simple to carry everywhere, even when going ultralight. Easy to replace if you do manage to misplace or forget them, I can certainly think of more places with 300m of this desk that I can pick them up from than I can tablet sellers. And most of them will be selling it for less than the cost of an App, let alone the device.
As a follower of “Getting Things Done” I find dumping all the ideas out onto paper a much quicker way of working. Just turning over the page or grabbing another sheet off the stack is always faster than saving a note and starting a new one. It also just lets you flow as you go. And if you suddenly find you need to mind map or brainstorm something there’s no panic about which app to use, maybe just whether to grab a larger sheet or not.
Yes, there’ll be a little overhead later when it needs transcribing. But you could always just photograph it with a SmartPhone and upload it, or invest in a scanner and some OCR software. In fact I find this a useful way of making sure I only take onboard the pertinent actions following a meeting, by going through each page of the notebook I just snap the ones I need and send them up to Evernote. Job Done.
Suddenly find yourself needing to sketch a schema diagram or an new proposed infrastructure architecture? No problems with pencil and paper.