When I was in school the note-taking system taught then made no sense to me. It still doesn’t make any sense to me. Of course I just chalked it up to being dumb.
In lesson two I want to share with you why the old way of taking notes was a disaster for writing anything back in the day. Instead of writing anything note worthy I would just sit and stare at the blank page.
I would sit at my desk and look at the blank white page in front of me, and my brain turned off. I felt like when the wheels on my car would spin. No matter hard I tried to move forward, it was useless. Talk about feeling frustrated, that’s how I felt trying to move forward with any writing project.
My writer’s block dropped by the way side once I adopted a note-taking system. It didn’t happen over night but I began to see the value in using a note-taking system. Now my ideas were instantly searchable, 24/7, with or without accessing the internet.
My best advice is don’t read another writing book. I hate to say how much I’ve spent over the years on buying another book on writing.
First, start capturing your best ideas. Ideas that are already resonating within you. I discovered that digital note-taking is a useful function because computers are better at remembering things than our brains are.
Once we learn to think with them (the digital note-taking system) and store your notes digitally, something surprising happens, you can increase your creativity with unexpected insights.
Writing came easy once I took the first step in saving all my best ideas. It’s amazing where and when these ideas come to you. When you have ideas while reading, write them down. When you have ideas during conversations with friends, write them done.
When you have ideas while walking down the sidewalk where you live, write them down. Knowing that you won’t forget your best ideas gives you peace of mind. Cultivating this habit, you appreciate your reading more and became more disciplined about your writing.
A recent study by Our World in Data says, “the average person spends six hours per day consuming information.” What’s so sad about that, only a small percentage of them have a systematic way of organizing those ideas.
If these individuals don’t have a way to keep their ideas in a secure place, it’s good chance they will suffer from writer’s block because their best ideas are lost over time. Believe me when I say, as I get older, ideas can come to me and just as fast as they come they can go. Now in my 20’s no one could have told me this, I had to experience it for myself.
Needless to say, I value my note-taking system, I don’t know what I’d do with out it. I know you’re already putting in the effort of reading books, listening to podcasts, and ideas are coming to you. Building a note-taking system gives you an advantage of storing your ideas NOW and for the future.
I love the Zettelkasten system for note-taking. Check it out, I guarantee you, it’s not even close to what your teachers taught you in school.
Now go take some notes.