Organization Hack: note taking

There seems to be a new wave of task organization that uses pen and paper. You open your notebook, write your tasks down, and then you complete them. Maybe I’m out of the loop but there are tasks that I create today that I won’t complete for weeks and maybe even months. These tasks could be meetings or things I need to do, but they each belong to a point on my calendar that need my attention. For me, when it comes to note taking and task management, I use pen, paper, and digitial to stay organized. Here is how I do it.

First of all, I take my notes in a journal or a note book. I personally like the Cahier journal from Moleskine and the 8″ x 5″ is the perfect size for me. When I get a new journal, the first thing I do is number the pages. This will help when transferring your notes from your journal to your computer. You might only have one meeting today and you end up not taking up the whole page. Because of this I add the date and the meeting title to the top of each note section. You might even think about using a new page when going into a different meeting, because those Cahier journals are really pretty cheap and the pages aren’t that big so you really aren’t wasting much paper.

So, once I’ve been to a meeting, dated and titled the section in my journal, and taken the notes from the meeting, I go back to my office to transfer my notes. The reason I add the details when I label the page is I might not be able to transfer these notes for a few days, so when I have time to transfer the notes everything is neat and organized.

The other reason for the labeling system is sometimes I’ll go back through my journal and see everything that needs to be transferred to digital, and I make some notes that look like the following:

  • pg 27 west campus
  • pg 29 east property signage
  • pg 33 west campus video

It makes it easy to know what notes or tasks need to be transferred and where they’re located. It takes minutes to make the notes on what needs to be transferred, so this usually happens when I’m waiting on a meeting to start or when I have a free moment.

Once I’ve transferred my notes from my journal to my computer, I put an “X” on that page or section with a marker. I don’t want to mark it out completely, because I might need to go back and reference it. When my journal is full it goes on a shelf in my office, and I start on numbering the pages of a new journal.

Get your journal > number the pages > date and title that page or note section > transfer your notes to your computer > put an ‘X’ over that page or note section

And that’s it! Obviously this method won’t work for everyone, but if you are having trouble keeping track of what you need to do, this might be something that helps you.


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