Why you need a paper notebook

A lot of people I admire and follow and learn from use some sort of notebook of regular basis.

These posts came across my radar recently I thought it would be worth sharing them as they nicely show why it’s worth having one.:

  1. Why Should you always carry a notebook

  2. Why I keep a paper notebook and you should to

  3. The Manly Tradition of the Pocket Notebook

I’ve been carrying a number of notebooks for last few years and experimented with different formats. I found that pocket size works best when it’s relatively thin say 40-60 pages tops and used for quick capture of ideas on the go. The larger size (13 x 21 cm / 5 x 8.25 in) works better for notebooks with more than 100 pages and suits to planning and writing.

These are my observations you best bet is to try and see what works for you.

Elite education plan

The Mustachian Elite Education (for children and even adults)

  • No broadcast TV service, but very fast Internet access and a computer (and phone) you maintain yourself
  • Minimal access to cars, but always a very nice bike kept in perfect repair
  • Limited access to tourist attractions and gift shops, maximum access to Nature
  • Support but do not mandate sports teams or formal lessons. But keep sports and musical equipment handy around the house.
  • Less scheduling, more opportunity for self-guided activities. Boredom can be the trigger for creativity.
  • Whenever possible, say yes to  friends, sleepovers and late bedtimes.

Cost: Less than most families seeking elite status spend on their house cleaning service.

The Cheap Ticket Into the Elite Class

I really like this approach…

Trade money for time

They say you can’t more time but…

When it comes to money it’s good to accumulate some amount of it. It is even better to spend it on regular basis on things that are important to you.

By that I don’t mean buy more items or chase the latest and greatest gizmo. It’s about spending money on experiences, learning opportunities, building relationships etc.

In the short term possessions seem to matter more but not in the long term. In long term possessions will weigh you down, can’t take them to grave but experiences, relationships, adventures will last the lifetime.

Below quote sums it up quite nicely.

In your lifetime, use money to acquire time.
Share time with people you wish to influence with your values. Be the brand.
Remember that it’s better to earn, and spend, our own way in life. It’s what you did.
Have a bias towards “assets used for shared experiences,” rather than cash flow.
Ask the question, How do I wish to be remembered?

Non-financial aspects of estate planning

To remember for longer 

Practice at retrieving new knowledge or skill from memory is a potent tool for learning and durable retention. This is true for anything the brain is asked to remember and call up again in the future—facts, complex concepts, problem-solving techniques, motor skills. Effortful retrieval makes for stronger learning and retention.

To Learn, Retrieve

Taking Notes for Creative Thinking

Don’t worry about creating the perfect system

“Misdirected optimization is the root of all evil.” Tiago writes.

This is especially true of elaborate systems for tagging, titling, grouping, or cross-referencing notes so that you can retrieve them with total accuracy. Such systems are time-consuming to use, hard to remember, and inevitably flawed. In addition, they actually make it harder for you to spot new connections between notes by locking you into your past thinking.

Tiago Forte on Taking Notes for Creative Thinking via Doug Toft blog

More intentional GTD

I recently read few discussions on the GTD Forums and came across a dabate around planning a day.

There is strong argument suggesting that planning days and weeks is best approach to make progress on large and important itmes that may otherwise may drown in the pool of small actions. “If it’s schedules it get done” goes the mantra. This approach does not apper to tie very well with GTDs more opportunistic model which looks at context, time, energy, priority to make decision about next task. In effect you “crank the widgets” and male small amounts of progress on many different projects.

The discussion was quite interesting and one more prolific GTD advocates – Testeq – made excelent comment pointing to projects as key reference points in daily and weekly planning.

What about making your day-planning decisions more Project/StandaloneNextAction oriented than context oriented? I mean: don’t look at your at-work context to choose next actions but rather look at your active Project list to choose projects you want to make progress and change contexts to reach your goals. GTD contexts may hurt your productivity and motivation.

Messing Up on Planning My Day 

When planning a day or a week moving up a level to projectes or a big next action really makes GTD much more intentional. It also helps to address some of the valid criticism raised by Cal Newport. Adding to calendar block of time to spend on a specific project and its next actions can  increase focus and chances of making good progress.

This is excellent suggestion for those who may be overwhelmed by the volume of items on next action lists.