Could You Benefit from Better Notetaking?

content marketersAs a marketers, and/ or keepers of notebooks and diaries we find ourselves returning again and again to the emphatic question of what compels — what propels us — to record our impressions of the present moment in all their magnificent subjectivity.

Perhaps we want to remember the sound made by a gaggle of tin cans rolling along the curb, so we jot down the moment while on the walk from one place to another, or maybe we hear the words used in the marriage proposal that transpired in the restaurant we visited for lunch, or the way we felt when we passed a fallen bird’s nest on our walk home.  Are these wondrous spontaneities that demand to be recorded or written down in order to be rediscovered later, or in the moment of writing is something profound encouraged through the act of recording, itself?

For inbound marketers, noticing the intricacies of life and writing them down can make a world of difference when new ideas are needed or innovations are called upon. However while our modern record-keeping is accomplished, from blogging to Twitter to Instagram, we must never forget the importance of recording our personal journey. By maintaining a notebook and taking record of the tasks and ideas that rise each day, those who have the diligence will be intuited with vital pattern-recognition machinery that fuels creativity

Writing in a notebook confers value even without an idea meeting its fruition. However, as it also turns out, making notes might be a remarkably potent tool for jostling the muse into manifesting — a powerful trigger for that stage of unconscious processing so central to the creative process.

Perhaps you see the value of keeping a notebook, but you don’t know how to start.

Here’s a list of things you can write in a notebook:

  1. Goals. Include plans for reaching those goals, your progress, and any challenges you encounter.
  2. Observations, about your surroundings, conversations, people, life in general, or yourself.
  3. Ideas. They can be career-related, but they can also be ways to improve your hobbies, your surroundings, or even economics and politics.
  4. Questions. Try stretching your mind by asking thought-provoking questions that aren’t easy to answer.
  5. Thoughts. Your journal isn’t the only place to write about yourself and your life.
  6. Intense Emotions. Sometimes you need to dump how you feel onto a piece of paper, but you don’t want the emotions to clutter up or spill into social media. A notebook is a great way to clear your head.
  7. Opinions. Whenever you get fired up about something, whether it be political, social, economical, religious, or whatever you feel passionate about, you can make your argument in your notebook.
  8. Lists. Successful people love keeping lists of all sorts of stuff: things they are grateful for, songs they will sing to their kids, places in the world they want to go, their favorite books, pet peeves, etc.
  9. Plan for the day, including how you feel about that plan (excited, overwhelmed, anxious). This is a great way to focus before starting the day.
  10. Poems, snippets from your novel, plot outlines, or anything writing related that’s too raw to go into the computer just yet.
  11. Quotes you hear or read that inspire you.
  12. Exercises. 
  13. Garbage. You don’t have to create anything worthwhile in your notebook; you just have to create.

Do you keep a notebook? What do you write in it? How has it helped you?

image credit: nuttapong/