Some years ago, I had one of those “ah ha” moments when I realized the church I served did not exist to fulfill my perceived needs. This is something I knew, but didn’t realize. How about you? Sitting in my synthetic leather desk chair, I glanced through a magazine (magazines are legacy media we read before the internet) at an ad featuring a broken pencil and the words “The Revolution Came – we took Notes”. Tore out the ad, stickytaped it to my office wall. Since that day, I have literally taken notes everywhere I can.
I write with an original Pentel Rolling Writer – thick black line, inkflow is great, but no bleedthrough.
My other preference is a thick leaded pencil, carpenter’s pencils (won’t roll away), a kid’s beginner pencil.
A fullsize yellow legal pad inside a thin, slick, elegant pricy leather notepad holder.Second choice is a white regular size legal pad, no holder.
I print with fat letters that fill the line. EZ to see, EZ to reread. Learned this printing style from a guy I sat next to in college.
After taking notes, I detach the pages, paperclip them, and put them on my desk for transfer to computer or put them in my journal bag if I want to keep them. Every month, I go through and cull the stuff that doesn’t last.
Stuff I put on computer also gets put on a memory stick.
Why takes notes?
I cannot remember more than a few things at a time
I have a record of the event AND remember other things I thought and felt at the time
Want to note down stuff to think more about later, but will forget without notes
Gives me a way to stay alert during boring meetings
My notes may the only good thing that comes out of an event or interaction, something to show for it
In conflict situations, notetaking is a diversion, and I don’t mind using it.
When NOT to take notes? When you’re supposed to be just listening. You have to decide that, and believe me, some of those lessons are hard.
That’s it. Do what works for you. Sometimes I make life happen, sometimes it happens to me. Either way, man, I am takin’ NOTES.