For medium sized projects or small projects that will be competitively bid, you could use Specification Notes in lieu of a Project Manual type of specification. The General Requirements and all the Technical Specifications are part of the SpecNotes. Such brief specs work just fine if you have well-thought-out General Requirements to cover all the usual boiler plate in the General and Execution parts of the typical specification.
For big, important projects, where you can't avoid a Project Manual, you should still place the Specification Notes on the drawings because it is the most effective place for this type of information. The Project Manual is where you place all the Part 1: General and Part 3: Execution boiler plate in traditional style. But since you can rely on your Specification Notes for the Part 2: Products section of the specs, there will be a lot less editing required. In fact about 80% to 90% of the technical specs can be standard documents requiring no editing if you make liberal use of the phrase "(if any)".
If BIM ever gets around to addressing the "Information" part of the concept, you won't be using Project Manuals any more. So think of this as getting a head start.