What’s your current system for capturing notes?
Picture the scene:
– You’re on the phone and need to take down a phone number or reference code.
– You’re calling for quotes to hire a conference room and need to jot down rates and availability.
– You suddenly get an idea for your business and want to capture it before you forget.
What do you do?
Now, you may very well have a system that works brilliantly. If that’s the case you can cease reading here.
Chances are, however, you scribble the note anywhere it will fit on whatever paper, envelope or Post-It note that happens to be to hand.
Then you’ll spend countless minutes later searching for the information. …Or you’ll tire yourself out trying to make heads or tails of all those ‘bitsy’ notes here, there and everywhere.
I see it all the time in working with my clients.
And to be honest, I once did the same.
Here’s my solution: A notebook for your notes.
I know that sounds ridiculously OBVIOUS, but if what you’re doing isn’t working, consider this remedy.
Here’s what I do and how it works for me…
- I use a blank, lined A5 notebook (stationery lovers unite!). Not dated, no special boxes or pre-printed lists, or anything like that. Just simple, blank lines.
- I ensure that the notebook can lay flat when open, so I can easily write on both pages.
- I use A5 because, for me, it’s the perfect size for the amount of notes I take on any given day. And, if my notes do spill onto another page or two, it’s not a problem since I’m not confined to pre-dated pages. Love that.
- The notebook sits on my desk, open and ready with a pen.
- At the start of each day, I write the day and date on the top of the right hand page for easy reference, and I’m ready to go.
- As the notebook is always to hand, there’s no more searching for a scrap to write on. No more stealing another sheet of paper from the printer. (A previous tactic.)
The Daily Transfer:
One-offs – Many notes end up being transient, one-off snippets needed for a one-off purpose, e.g. a phone number, measurements and calculations, train times, etc.
More Action Required – Other notes, however, will require further action or recording elsewhere for future use.
A daily transfer of these ‘more-action-required’ notes ensures nothing gets lost or falls through the cracks.
- For instance, I’ll enter important phone numbers or email addresses into my contacts, or transfer relevant travel information to my diary.
- Since this notebook is not my to-do list, I’ll move any action points into my task management system.
I perform this maintenance step daily, as it helps me stay current and organised.
Then, when I’ve reached the end of the notebook I know I can either file it, or recycle it freely knowing I’ve gleaned whatever I needed.
This method has saved bags of time and stress for many of my clients …and for me.
Could this system work for you, too?
Your action point for today: Review your note-taking system.
Is your system working?
Does your system need tweaking?
Do you need a notebook for your notes?
I love hearing from you, so do pipe up and let me know how you get on!
And if you need my help in organising your office and improving your time management so you can be super-productive, let’s talk about that, too!
Call me on +44 (0) 7590 069 900, email me at email@example.com or schedule a call using my online scheduler here!
[…] Assess those bits of paper, envelopes and napkins with scribbled phone numbers and notes. Record what you need, toss the scraps. In case you missed my last post: Do You Need A Notebook For Your Notes? […]