A Walk Down Memory Lane

By: Auditor Training Online | Posted 01 Dec 2019

 Author: Jackie Stapleton


If you’re anything like me you like to visit Officeworks for any type of stationery and you just love keeping records and everything organised.  We are so fortunate to have fantastic tools and technology these days to make it so much easier.  If you are like me then you will love this walk down memory lane ………

I have a regular audit client that I visit annually.  Over the years I have always been fascinated with a collection of journals that they have on display at Reception.  I always flick through them fascinated with not only how they were put together back ‘in the day’ but what was actually written.

This photo just looks like some old books that probably should be thrown in the bin,  however open them up and it’s an amazing walk through the history of recording meeting minutes since 1909!

 

  

 

  

 

As you flick through these journals you see the changes over time from when meeting minutes were written up by hand and even signed off by the Chairman within the journal.  Just look at this handwriting from 1918!

 

  

  

 

You can then see that at some stage, they started using a typewriter and the minutes are now typed up and glued into the journals.  Of course, the typewriter would have been one of those manual ones that I learned on where you had to manually move the return leaver and if you made a mistake, you used ‘tipex’ to white it out.    I’ve added a photo of one of these just in case you’re a younger reader or you’ve forgotten what they looked like!

 

     
 



This always reminds me of my very first office job, where I was a legal secretary – straight out of college into my first ‘real’ job.  I had the skill in those days of being able to take shorthand, so I’d go off into the lawyers office and he’d verbalise the letter he wanted typed up and I’d scribble my shorthand.  Yep, this is what it looked like!  There is no way I can read this nowadays – I’ve completely forgotten the skill.  Although on reflection I do use my own type of shorthand when taking my audit notes.  I guess you develop your own style over the years and if it’s only for your reading, understanding and translation then that’s fine!

 

  

  

The tools I use to take notes has also changed over the years.  I have to say I still love a good notebook and pen.  For me, I think actually writing something down helps me to remember the discussion more and then of course the added benefit is being able to read it afterwards to type up the audit report.  I have moved away from the old school notebook now though and use a Writing Tablet.  It feels just like writing on paper and actually looks the same too.  The benefit is, is that once I’ve referred to the notes for my audit report or meeting minutes and updated the information electronically, I can simply save the electronic notes into a PDF and my work is done!  There’s no scanning of hard copy notebooks anymore!

I do think it’s important to embrace change and try these new tools and technology out, however I think what you end up using and what feels right for you will always be based on how you learn and take in information.  I see so many different methods that organisations use which range from an exercise book to record supplier quotes, a whiteboard to record machine hours and service scheduling (with a daily photo for backup), laptops, tablets and phones on site for inductions and inspections and the next big thing the use of drones for OH&S observations with the video recorded and saved for review.

Let’s stay open-minded and curious about these changes and see where it takes us!  I can’t wait!

Happy auditing………..