Structured Note Taking Vol 1: Create an Ideas Bank
What you'll learn
- Keep all the random ideas you have each day organized
- Never lose track of a note or idea again
- Save all your creative ideas so you don't forget where they are
- Avoid coming up with the same ideas multiple times because you forgot where you stored them
- A willingness to systematize their learning and note taking
Do you have a system for taking notes?
Do you have a system for organizing your notes?
Can you reliably find notes you took on a book or at a conference from 5 years ago?
What about a creative idea you had 5 years ago?
For most people the answer is no.
For most people, they would have a very hard time finding something from 5 months ago, or even 5 weeks ago.
Accelerated learning is about becoming more efficient in your learning.
But another way to look at is just a methodology so that you stop wasting huge amounts of time.
And one way we waste time is that we come up with the same ideas over and over again because we never write them down.
Or we write them down, but then we never do anything with them.
You may have heard about the idea of an ideas bank before.
Or something similar. A place to keep all your random notes in one place.
But it turns out that if you consistently do this for months and years, you end up with the equivalent of a spreadsheet with 10,000 + rows.
You may have started out thinking you would look over your list of ideas every month for 10 or 15 minutes. But after a year or two, it's more like 3-5 hours to read a list that long.
It's not a SUSTAINABLE system.
It turns out that the only smart way to use an ideas bank is to get stuff out of the ideas bank as quickly as possible.
It's called project based thinking.
Any idea that you have, at least 95% of them, are actually ideas that belong in a larger project of some kind.
You may not have a project set up yet, (and if you aren't sure how to do that, check out my vol 8 course in the learning the hard way series and my course on one pagerr project management) but that doesn't change the fact that most of the ideas you have are really just leaves on a tree. And that tree is a project.
Each project is a tree. And each idea you get is a leaf.
You need an ideas bank so you can get those "bags of leaves" that you collect in your phone or notebook or sticky notes and get them on the right tree where they belong.
That's why this course isn't just about building a place to store stuff and then never look at it again.
The ideas bank is the HUB of a larger system.
This system is design for keeping your micro-notes well organized.
If you've taken my courses on note taking and learning projects organization and information organization, you know how to organize your information. But only when it is a known quantity.
What about all those micro notes that don't fit into that system easily?
That's what the ideas bank is for.
It's kind of like the huge sorting facilities that UPS uses.
All the packages in a region get sent to a central sorting facility, and then they get shipped off by truck or plane to their destination city.
The ideas bank is that hub that will bring everything in one place so you can then send it off to it's final location.
Future courses in this series will cover specific types of structured notes you can keep for things that don't fit neatly into existing categories. For example, a mistakes journal, dream journal, physical object inventory, intellectual property inventory, etc.
Who this course is for:
- Professionals who want a better way to store their ideas
- Entrepreneurs who need a system for saving all their business ideas
- Students who want to get more organized
Timothy Kenny is the author of “Accelerated Learning for Entrepreneurs.” He teaches classes and speaks to groups about how to accelerate their learning so that they can build successful businesses faster and with more confidence in their success.
Timothy has taught at the Harvard Innovation lab, The Tufts University Entrepreneurs Society, General Assembly in Boston, and has been a featured teacher on Skillshare, among others. He has consulted with startup teams on how to accelerate their learning, creativity, and growth.