The Three Practices for Digital Note-taking
The Concept of a Digital Toolbox – Part 12
What apps are you using for note-taking, journaling, and managing your personal content?
While the topic of journaling (which I covered in a previous web-post), may put some to sleep, I need to refer to it in a different manner. I’m not talking about keeping logs of daily habits or what you eat, while it can certainly be a part of it. I’m speaking to the apps and tools you use to hold, store, manage, and access your personal content-your notes. I call it content because it can consist of many sources, ideas, notes, journals items, etc. Let’s dig a little deeper into this topic.
The Thought or Concept:
What are you doing with your notes?
I will describe the art of note-taking in the three ways I practice “note-taking”. Trust me when I say I’m a professional at this. I have over 10k digital notes and over 10 years worth of completed paper journals with my notes and thoughts. You probably have a place you write things down, but do you have a plan for how you store them? Is this content important or do you treat what you write as disposable? I have all my notes, they are the most important possessions I have so I have plans that help me store, keep, and publish them. My notes not only document the insights I pick up, but allow me to give the same insights to those in my circles. I pass it on. What are you doing with all your notes, insights, wisdom, and thoughts? Are they sitting on a shelf somewhere of no benefit to anyone or do you have plans that include their use?
My digital note-taking practices
Again, I hate the word “journal”, so a better way to describe what I’m talking about is my “content.” Now for the components of my content gathering, storing, and managing practices:
- The digital brain. With technology improving daily, I’ve taken hold of a process that Michael Hyatt refers to as using an app to be your “digital brain.” There are tools available (that I’ve mentioned in an earlier web-post) that will allow you to store almost anything. This includes, but is not limited to, files, recording, videos, webpages, notes, lists, documents, etc. It’s endless to what you can store. If you can think of it, why not store it to access it and have it available for later?
- Writing/Outlining. I have a tool that’s perfect for creating outlines and drafts for my professional content. It’s called WorkFlowy. Sometimes you need (or at least I need) a tool that’s distraction free where I can put my “raw” thoughts down, rearrange them, and craft a draft before I do my actual writing or develop my next project or product. Everything I do starts with an outline. I learned from Tyler Perry that every good movie starts with having the end in mind. So, I apply this to all my web-posts, books, and projects using my writing/outlining tool (WorkFlowy).
- Digital notes. Similar to the once physical binder used to store our paperwork at home so were/are my note-takers. Because I like the fact that digital tools allow you so many great benefits like taking your notebooks with you wherever you go, instant access for updates, and being able to search the content, the digital note-taker tools are the best. I really enjoy being able to have a thought and adding supporting content to help complete those thoughts, such as scripture references, pictures/images, web-sites and support documents.
Your practices will certainly look a little different than my practices. The key is to define them, redefine them, and have a plan for how you do what you do. Whether it’s using your note-taker as a repository for your brain, a place to outline projects, books, writings, or simply a place to house your notes, a digital solution is a great companion for improving the process.
Today is Friday!
When you look back on your life if for a day, a week, a year or more, there should be one common theme, improvement. How are you improving your methods for taking notes? Your life is your business and you need a plan for improving how you take notes, what you do with those notes and how you store those notes.