Here’s a quick tip I’ve found very handy. When doing 1:1’s with your team (you are doing these regularly, right?), take notes to keep track of the conversations from week to week. I currently use a 5-tab notebook with one tab for each direct report. Each person has their own section. Each week when we meet, I take notes on the next page in their section. This makes it really easy to refer back to last week’s notes and follow up on any ongoing issues. Each week I circle the items I need to follow up on the following week. This makes it trivial to pick them out. Having one section per person means the previous week is only one page back. I tried just keeping a continuous set of notes on everyone, but then finding the last time we talked could be difficult.
Another advantage of having each person in their own section is it provides a space for next week’s agenda. During the week as things come up, I jot them down on the next week’s page. Then when it comes time for the 1:1, I already have a list of items to follow up on. This also helps stop my subconscious mind from dwelling on these items (ala Getting Things Done) because I know they will be handled.
I have also seen OneNote used successfully for this purpose, but I prefer not to have a laptop between myself and the other person in our meetings. It is a matter of taste.