When I budget a show, I sketch out each element as I budget it. I do this for several reasons. First, it helps to make sure that I have thought through the element. It gives me a preliminary idea of a construction method, and it is easier to budget once it is broken down into pieces. I am currently using a modified version of the Cornell note taking paper layout. I have a large area where I sketch, a column down the side for materials, and a space at the bottom for construction notes.
The links above offer a plethora of pdf's for every type of graph or specialty paper that i could ever imagine using. Some of the sites even allow customization for colors and sizes.
The Cornell note taking system by the way is pretty interesting. And while it is meant for classroom note taking, the ideas of using questions, key points and short summaries would be useful for production meetings as well.