I wanted to share a quick tip that I’ve been using for years to make my notes (written and typed) more useful.
By nature I am a pretty disorganized note-taker. When jotting down notes I typically work in a very scattered “mind map” layout. I find if I try to keep to any sort of outline I tend to need to squeeze more and more notes into a confined space. What has evolved from this is basically a messy page of notes with all shorts of connecting lines, doodles, etc.
While this fits my brain well it is often difficult to pick out the bits that I need to “take action” on. Usually my understanding of what I have taken notes on is solid, but things like action items, additional research I need to do and other “meta” information gets lost in the structure – I guess you could call it “not seeing the trees for the forest”
Over time I have developed a short list of standard “glyphs” that I use in my written notes to help these items stand out:
- (!) – Action item – Something I need to do
- (N) – Note item – Something I need to document
- (?) – Research item – Something that needs further research
- (@) – Contact – Someones contact information
Do you have any note-taking tips? I’d love to hear them.