Most office jobs these days require juggling tasks and moving nimbly back and forth between assignments. Pair that with a continual stream of meetings, phone calls, emails, and instant messages, and things can begin to feel downright chaotic.
There’s no doubt about it—we’re living in a time and place where survival requires rock-solid project management skills, an amazing memory, and a penchant for organization. Problem is, we’re not all cut from that type of cloth. So how can we stay on top of our game?
It’s simple really. All you need is a great spiral notebook—which tops the list of cool office supplies this year—your favorite pen, and these tips for note-taking and list-making at work.
1. Organize your notes together in one place. When information is coming at you from all different directions all day long, the worst thing you can do is jot down notes here, there, and everywhere. Google Docs, Mac Notes, Post-Its stuck all over your desk...it’s a recipe for disaster. And, while you might feel like you’re being proactive by taking notes in the first place, it only serves to make you feel stressed and more scattered if you can’t find those notes later on when you need them. So what’s the remedy? Get one lined paper notebook and keep it handy at all times. This is the simplest thing you can do to manage the mayhem.
2. Promote focus and keep distractions at bay. Close. The. Laptop. Don’t get me wrong, my fingertips are glued to my laptop keyboard the vast majority of my days too, but there are times when you just have to shut it down and grab your spiral notebook. A prime example? In meetings. Whether you’re with your team or with a client, it’s best for focus, clarity, and retention to handwrite your notes. Plus, eye contact and the lack of distraction from email notifications can go a long way in creating meaningful workplace connections.
3. Handwriting promotes correlation. Since handwriting is slower than typing, you can’t just write every word you hear verbatim. This is key because when forced to paraphrase, you have to be engaged enough to fully understand what you’re writing down. This higher-level understanding enables you to see connections between things more easily, and these connections can help you streamline processes, saving both time and energy.
4. Keep your tasks top of mind. Creating a running do-list in your spiral notebook is incredible for keeping your tasks front and center. Super simple, yet dramatically effective, handwriting your list daily and crossing off items when complete serves two distinct purposes. First, you’ll better remember all your to-dos because writing improves retention. Second, that sense of accomplishment you’ll feel from achieving each micro goal will give you the inspiration and energy to tackle the next thing on the list.
So buy your spiral notebook now, and start implementing these 4 tips right away. You’ll be amazed at the outcome. More organized. Less stressed. And a standout employee.
Your boss will be sure to take note.
And a bonus perk of hamelin notebooks? They come with our free app Scribzee ®, so you can easily scan, save, organize, share and access your notes digitally whenever you want, too.