TRICKS • 04-03-2014

Separating Action Points from potentially useful information is a major conceptual distinction of any efficient system. Apply it to your Notebook. Highlight Action points - specific actions to be done - that stand out in the middle of all info (make up a special symbol, or use a color if you like).


The more you have that distinction present on your mindset, the more it will influence everything even before you feed your system. Note-taking at meetings is an excellent example among many.

Make sure your note-taking habits include a special symbol or color for action, that really stands out on each page. Browsing several pages of your notebook to collect only those special action points should be super-fast and simple.

You should review and mark off the pending notation when: the item is no longer pending or the item has been transposed to a main system and it's now safely represented somewhere else (avoid redundancy at all costs!). 

It can also be useful to mark a specific page on your note book, that represents the following idea: 'from this page backwards, there's no use looking for pending action points (all is done or transposed)'. 


Notes apps 'fever'

One Note, Evernote or similar applications, produce amazing magic at several levels, but they can in fact present a real danger to your system if not managed properly. The basic rule is: you shouldn't mix general info (that would be nice to be easily found if needed) in the same place you keep lists of stuff whose execution you need to control.

When in doubt, use this rule of thumb: info is data, facts, numbers, diagrams, sketches that might help you when you are executing something; action is who is going to do what, and has a status: 'done' or not 'done'.

1 comment
Harris K
I am a devoted Highlighter from way back and I will never stop highlighting because I want the part I am trying to focus on and remember to go back too stand out.
in 2014-03-07 16:36:28
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