You would not believe the number of great ideas that have been forgotten simply because a person or group decided to note make notes.
We’ve been there, so we are sure you have as well. A meeting is taking place and someone has a moment of pure genius that sets the room ablaze with fresh ideas. The power of the group mind springs to life and you suddenly feel excited about the future once more.
Then, inevitably, the moment ends and you each go back to your individual work stations to focus on what is immediately in front of you so that maybe — hopefully — you can get back to whatever new notion had just been the talk of the room.
Nine times out of ten, unless you remember to take serious notes or or immediately put thought to action when a good idea strikes that amazing notion will soon be lost to the annals of your brain. You may be able to salvage of the components, but they will never work together as well as they did when the thought first crossed your mind.
When we encountered problems with a new platform we attempted to launch last year, one of our first decisions was to create several spreadsheets to document our response. We outlined every issue we found, as well as those mentioned by our users. We also made a list of things people said the wanted to see included in any future updates. We made lists of what we could do and what we had no idea how to handle, as well as steps to learning what we did not yet understand.
Every morning our team begins their day by drawing up individual to-do lists. From there, we usually have a group discussion about our company’s current goals and any progress has been made toward meeting them. This helps everyone stay on the same page, and it promotes a hive mind mentality in the office.
The digital age has given us the ability to consume and process more information than ever before, but unless we stop and focus on what is passing through our minds the bulk of what take in is lost almost as soon as it is recognized. In order to maximize your productivity and comprehension you need to take notes, set reminders, and above all else create a plan of attack for your daily life.
James Shotwell is the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. He is also the Film Editor for Substream Magazine, host of the Inside Music Podcast, and a 10-year music writing veteran. If you enjoy this article and want more stuff like it – or if you hated it so much you have to say something – follow James on Twitter.