In starting off the new year, I was making some notes and thought to share this process that I’ve found that has been so very empowering to my thinking and creativity over the past few years.
For more than 20 years I’ve kept daily notes in little black Moleskine notebooks. Just thoughts from each day, memos from conversations, ideas and lists of things to do.
Writing helps me remember
It’s always been so freeing to be able to journal thoughts and ideas, and having a way to remember things without overly burdening my mind to ‘remember things’.
Discovering the Workflowy App
A few years ago I discovered a little app/website called Workflowy – see https://www.workflowy.com – it’s an effortless way to start an outline on any number of topics.
It’s free to use – you should definitely check it out and see if it’s something that might map to the way you think, work or take notes.
I Think in Outlines
I think in outlines, main topic, sub-topic, bullet points – and this tool, I’ve found, has amplified my ability to think and write tenfold. Truly freeing me up ‘at the speed of thought’ to outline ideas, discussions, presentations and plans.
It Keeps Me Organized
It also helps keep me hyper-organized. Instead of hundreds of individual notes or documents – everything is in one single place. The bullet points allow me to easily divide an area of my life up into sub-sections and then detail out thinking of each of them so much more…
Drilling Down into Focus
At any point I can just click on a bullet point, zoom into it’s detail and be back into an area of thinking instantly with all my notes there in one single place… on the web or on my phone…
Nothing’s Ever Lost
It also means nothing is ever lost – it’s fully searchable for any word or phrase in an instant. You can tag a line just by adding in ‘#topic’ which become a hyperlink to all other occurrences in the entire tree.
In addition to detailing out major roles and responsibilities in my life and business, I’ve keep notes from books that I’ve read, notes from most every meeting and phone call, outlines of business and project plans, etc.
Daily Notes Have Been Most Helpful
But the one thing that I’ve really found valuable is keeping a WorkFlowy tab open in my web browser or on the iPhone app and just jotting down some short notes on things as I go through my day. Just being able to capture a few bullet points for a day has been invaluable in looking back, being able to return to a moment and reflect on it for deeper meaning and context. Many times I’ll revisit a thought and it will spawn a great burst of creative thinking or insight – something that would have never happened had I left that moment to memory and to chance.
Finally – Most Importantly
I’ve found the ability to look back and reflect more deeply on a prior moment of the most important contributors to my forward-looking clarity and focus.
I hope this year is a year of clarity and focus for you as well and perhaps this post, process and tool might contribute to your successful endeavors in 2020.