Many who have seen me comment on my spiral books filled with my notes and how I seem to be forever writing in them during meetings. Much to the chagrin of my family, I take those books even for social meetings. I had to stop taking them to movie theatres and weddings after my wife Bhavana read me the riot act! My solution was to carry a folded paper in my pocket. My contention: ideas can come anywhere and so I need to write them down. This way, I don’t forget and also keep my mind clear.
There is a method to my madness of writing things down. In meetings, it keeps me focused. As I make notes, I remember better. I don’t drift into my own faraway world. I also find that some of the better ideas come when my own thoughts interplay with what I hear or say in a meeting – and it’s best to capture them as they flow. A little later, and I may have lost the context and the idea.
Over the years, I have seen many entrepreneurs with a similar mindset. They may all use different tools – iPads, a smartphone, a tablet or a notebook. I find it quite astonishing when I see the person I am meeting not making any notes – I truly find it hard to believe that a person can remember big and small points of the meeting. I guess – to each their own.
I find there is a very important side-benefit of focused note-taking in meetings. While the big points will always be remembered, I find that it is the seemingly less significant points that can have a lot of value later when one reviews the meeting. An off-comment, a phrase, a reference – all can have value if used correctly. And these can become hard to remember later especially if one has a series of back-to-back meetings.
My preferred method is a 300-page spiral book – it is easy to fold, and because it has lots of pages, I don’t have to economise on my writing. I have a big stock of these books and seamlessly move to the next when one is over. I don’t often go back to the older spiral books – but they are useful in case a specific meeting needs to be referenced.
Think of making good notes like punctuality – good habits that make for a proficorn entrepreneur.
Tomorrow: My Proficorn Way (Part 22)