Why you should take notes from yourself

Listen to yourself, you’re pretty smart.

We take notes in all sorts of circumstances — at meetings, at conferences, while reading books, during class, and more.

We want to capture the gems that others are sharing with us, so we can put them to good use later.

We can reflect on the key points, internalize them, and take action when the time is appropriate.

We do all this because it is worth capturing ideas, insights, tips, and tricks.

So why not take notes from yourself?

You are full of ideas and insights, tips and tricks. Why not capture those things so that you can share them with others?

Perhaps more importantly, though, you can capture them for yourself.

Jotting down well-formed or nascent ideas or thoughts can help you stow away things for later use or to reflect on and develop them further.

The beauty is that you get to look back and see your thoughts again. This helps with memory, of course, but also with developing things further.

You can start to connect dots, perhaps applying an idea from one area of your life to another.

You can boost your confidence by acknowledging that you have more ideas than you think you do, accomplish more than you think, or have more well-formed future plans than you think.

Odds are you are doing better than you give yourself credit for; reflecting on your notes can help you to see things more clearly.

You can better see ideas that you should share with others. You see more ways that you can be helpful.

You can get better at remembering things. You can more easily prioritize things. You can have better information to think more strategically.

Try it out.

Find a moment of pause or two each day to capture some thoughts in a notes app or on a sheet of paper. Just put down whatever is rolling around in your mind.

Don’t worry about format or congruency…just dump stuff out.

Put the next big business idea down right next to the reminder to pick up the dry cleaning this weekend to the idea for the next movie you want to watch next to the four bullet points on the opening slide of your next presentation next to the idea for a great meeting topic.

Later you will go back and look at it and worry about next steps or processing or re-organizing. The point now is to just capture your thoughts.

After a bit, look back and see what you’ve accumulated. It will likely be more than you thought and it will likely be more helpful than you thought to run through a little review session with yourself.

And yeah, you do have moments of pause throughout each day: while you’re waiting for a meeting or conference call to start, while you’re waiting in line for a sandwich, while you’re riding the train or the elevator, and probably many other tiny little slots.

Capitalize on those opportunities.

You’ll figure it out. You’re pretty smart. Which is why you’re worth listening to and taking notes.

Thanks for reading.

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