Ever been to a conference or hear a sermon and you just take notes like crazy. Hearing the content, you know that it will be life changing if you just can remember it.
But after writing all these life changing quips, you forget them. They don’t come up in your mind and you can’t apply the life changing truths.
It stinks. But it’s happened to me on more than I’d like to admit.
Over the years, I’ve been taking notes, I’ve had to develop a system to take things and create action items to help me go over content and apply it to my life.
A few years ago I wrote a post during the Orange Conference for turning your notes into action. I think that post is still relevant and I use a lot of what is in that post, but I wanted to give a few more tips for helping you get the most out of your notes.
Get a system
If you haven’t heard of the Bullet Journal System, you should stop and watch this video.
Developing a system of common symbols will help you fly through your notes, looking for the key that you develop. Think of having a map key for your notebooks that will identify action steps, quotes, events, etc.
For me, there are 3 big ones.
- The @ symbol: something for me to do.
- The * or star if I’m taking analog notes, is something for me to think about.
- The ! is something is a priority for me or my team.
Best part is that when I send these notes to Evernote, I can just search through them for those symbols. It makes my processing of notes easier and more effective.
My mind processes through writing, but there are some things that just need to be seen. Especially when you are at a conference.
Evernote, has an incredible app called Scannable. I’ve used it for my whiteboards, sticky note creative meetings, and business card transactions. It’s quick and it connects to my digital brain, Evernote.
You can also send them via email somewhere else.
When I take analog notes, I usually scan them write into Scannable and upload them to Evernote and process them from there.
Use your Calendar
I was never a huge user of my calendar except for scheduling meetings until I went through Infuse with Jim Wideman. (One of the best decisions I’ve ever made, btw) Now I try to schedule everything in my calendar. Including processing time.
I recently had a meeting with my senior pastor going over a very important initiative he wanted us to work on. I immediately went and scheduled time to process and think and come up with action steps for the project.
Maybe you have some sessions that are duds or meetings that aren’t fruitful, but just imagine taking about 30 minutes to process through those meetings that you walk away from saying, “Wow”.
Use your lists
For me, this means my to-do list manager, Todoist. I catalog my tasks that I captured in my notes after each meeting or if I’m immediately going somewhere else, I set up a time in my calendar to put tasks in my list.
I’m more of a task management person than a time management person, so this is essential for me, but either way, put it somewhere that will get you to process them.
I really think if you have these 4 things taken care of, you’ll be able to make your notes matter that much more and will actually use some of the things that you take notes on.
This post is inspired by the Orange Conference, a gathering of the best minds in Family Ministry where I will be taking a ton of life changing notes. Be sure to check it out if you work in Family Ministry or if you work with families in any capacity, it’s worth it.