Note making or taking is a superb first step in developing ideas from conception to implementation and ultimately to fruition.
Everyone should make notes of their ideas as soon as they occur to them because, it prevents forgetting. It also brings to remembrance forgotten thoughts when you go back and look through notes taken. It can enhance productivity almost beyond measure.
What do you do when a brilliant idea hits you? Do you write it down immediately or ‘store’ it in your head? Or put it another way, how many times have you struggled to remember a thought or an idea that you had not written down at the time it occurred to you.
I was speaking to a good friend the other day and we were discussing ways we could implement an idea he had come up with. (The joys of consultancy work eh!) Let me drop a rider here; I enjoy what I do so much – sometimes I wish I could do it for free. Anyway I digress. In the course of our discussions, he mentioned that tonnes of ideas come to him ever so often. That when these ideas come he makes a note either on his phone or in his little black notepad.
I thought that was quite interesting in that he was exactly like me. (Even though I ditched the note pad ages ago ) I now use Evernote to record my ideas. This is such a powerful resource that I have not begun to even scratch the surface of it’s features and capabilities. I will do a full blog post on how useful Evernote has been to me another time. For now, let us stay with this note making topic. Michael Hyatt wrote a really good post on the benefits of using Evernote as blogging tool. His piece demonstrates clearly that making notes helps the development of ideas into concrete plans or projects to implement.
I also found my friend’s habit quite refreshing because it reminded me of how we started Sabo Foods. At the time, we were looking to start a business and had a number of ideas between us ( by we & us I mean my business partner Goke and I) and decided that the best way to go was to write down our ideas as they came up and would sit down to analyse the potential for each using a few criteria we had set ourselves. As we lacked capital, we felt that our best option was to focus on businesses that had reasonable growth potential but without huge initial capital requirements.
Goke and I made a list of potential businesses we could get into before we finally narrowed it down to a home delivery food business. Believe me, that is how we started Sabo Foods. This was pre-smartphone and dial up modem days remember. The story of how the venture grew into one of the top household brand names in the UK exotic foods market is a matter for another day.
Essentially, I began to value note taking because it –
- helps order my thoughts
- made me realise that once an idea comes up and you write it down, you never forget and never have to waste mental energy and time trying to remember
- enabled me appreciate that I could always go back and redevelop the idea or thought later on
- meant that I could share it with others
- helped me become grateful for how much more I could get done if I had previously written notes to hand
What project or idea are you embarking on? How do you record ideas as they come to you? Perhaps you want to share how valuable you have found note making, Please leave your comments below