“Ding!” The notification on my phone appears reminding me of an imminent meeting… another one – slim or fruitless looking agenda with no clear objective and… I digress. Setting good meeting agendas is a whole other story. Dismissing the notification I grab my iPad, notebook, and my trusty pen (which is starting to die on me – I know, the irony of it all – put them in my bag and go.
Recently, with the help of my fellow partners, I launched a brand new business to the Australian market. This business has been twelve months in the making and I can guarantee that it would have taken a lot longer if it wasn’t for some crucial productivity tools and practices we used. The business is called The Shop Stop. It’s a virtual shopping mall where you are paid to shop!
Some time ago I discovered a new method of taking notes. One that seemed draw my attention to important points when reviewing them and allowed me to quickly remember the entire concept discussed at a glance. It is a method known as Sketch Notes. I was immediately drawn to it (pun intended) for its obvious visual appeal. Every idea, concept and process had the potential to be easily represented as one or more sketches on a page. The simplicity of these drawings made them incredibly easy to understand, at least for the person that drew them, and acted as a very powerful memory trigger.
I forget things. It’s just what I do. I have decided my brain is better at figuring things out than remembering anything. Which is a bit crap since the brain is where all memories are (lucky there are these things called “cameras”). So, because my brain doesn’t like to remember things, I rely on more permanent storage systems instead.
Before having a “system”, I would think of something I needed to do – it would just “pop” into my head as an idea or something that really needed attention – then I would really try to concentrate and commit that action to memory, hoping I could recall it when I was in the right place at the right time. Or, I’d turn to the person next to me and say “remind me to…”. How many times do you think either of these things worked? You wouldn’t even need one hand to count it.
So I had to come up with new, more permanent and reliable ways to remember all those things that I needed and wanted to get done. I think this was the start of my journey into the world of productivity applications, “getting things done” (GTD) and all that good stuff you can find around the web.
Here are three things I use to capture tasks, ideas and everything else, so that I can easily get to it when I need to, wherever I might be.