You had a brilliant thought and like an idiot didn’t write it down.
The opportunity to record a brilliant idea is the time between a lightning flash and the thunder that follows. If you hear the thunder and don’t take notes, the thought-gods take back their gift.
Your brilliant thought didn’t die. It drifted into the atmosphere looking for someone with respect.
People who respect ideas take notes.
A billionaire can take notes:
The founder of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson, takes notes. Did I mention he’s a billionaire?
“I urge everybody to take notes, whatever they are doing, wherever they are going. It doesn’t matter what form they take – laptops and phones are better than nothing – but I prefer a pen and paper.”
Fools hear wisdom and say, “I knew that.”
Wisdom feels familiar when you hear it. When you hear something interesting write it down, even if it feels familiar.
Branson says, “Become a great listener. Get out there and ask people questions and write down the answers.”
A genius poet wrote notes:
Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman are the two leading 19th century American poets. Some consider Dickinson to be the greatest American poet of all time. She published 10 poems in her lifetime. All were published anonymously. She actually wrote about eighteen hundred poems.
Dickinson respected ideas. It seems she wrote down in the moment. Scraps of paper, envelopes, even the wrapper of cooking chocolate have partial or complete poems on them.
Keep your pen handy. You never know when an idea might pop in.
One of the most successful British business leaders and one of America’s greatest poets captured thoughts with notes.
Take out your pen today.
What note taking strategies do you use?