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Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Importance of Taking Notes

Even after "school" you will need to continue to take notes and write stuff down.  The minute it will take to write something down and get it out of your head can save you much heartache later on.  I often get many ideas when I am about to go to sleep and use to ignore them, but now I take 5 minutes to write them on a piece of paper to review when I wake up.  I had a few blog posts fell apart because I did not write them down and figured I would remember them when I wake up or even in 30 minutes.  I didn't remember, and many good ideas have been lost because of this.

Thoughts and ideas are constantly racing through our heads, and dismissed so we can focus on the current task.  Many great ideas are lost during this time, these ideas are worthless.  This can be avoided by taking a minute to write the idea down.  I take a few minutes everyday, usually when I am running, where I can focus on my thoughts.  When I get an idea I stop and get out my mini notebook and write it down.  This is when I often get ideas for what I am working on, or blog posts.  The times when I can let my thoughts develop are rare and I now make sure I take advantage of them.  Everyone should take a few minutes every day to let their thoughts develop and devote their attention into that.  

You should take notes more than just when you have an idea or a spark of genius.  I take notes now to aid in my continual education after I read a marketing blog post or watch a Webinar.  I do this because with how much I read and how many different topics it becomes hard for me to keep them separate.  I also do this because it is a handy notebook with the main points and ideas of many posts all in one place.  When I finish I ask myself what have I learned by reading this, what were some main points.  If I can't think of anything I wait a minute and try again if still nothing I reread it.  I know that their is valuable information in what I just read, and sometimes after reading for a while it stops sinking in or I stopped reading and started skimming.

Without looking or scrolling up, what do you remember about the photo at the beginning?
I would be willing to say nothing other than it was a notebook, your mind went to focusing on the text of this post and you dismissed the image as just a thumbnail photo.  By the time you finish your task (reading the blog) the idea (image) is already vague and mostly gone.  That is just another example of how important note taking can be.

Some other great posts on this subject of note taking include:
Mitch Joel's post: Take Notes

What main points did you take away from this post?  Do you take notes, how often?  How many ideas have you forgotten because you were too busy to write it down. 

Photo Credit to Brenderous who has a great idea about organizing notes which I will try to use from now on.

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