The Benefit of Physical Note-Taking for Small Business Organization

by / Thursday, 10 July 2014 / Published in Productive Business Tips

organization for business owners

The cloud, free CRM tools, and digital calendars can help small business owners reach levels of organization and efficiency that would be impossible without the benefit of technology. However, much in the same way that e-books can never truly replace a paper copy for some bibliophiles, the utility of physical note taking should not be ignored by small business owners, even in the event that they are also using digital organizational aids. There are multiple reasons to take notes, and in lieu of pen and paper, many tablets support handwriting style data entry, which for some business owners compounds even further on the utility of physical note taking by converting it into organized digital outlines.

It can help business owners remember important points more easily. The act of physically writing is linked to stronger retention of information, and according to lifehacker, allows for a deeper connection with the meaning behind what is written in comparison with typed notations. In business, when recall of important details is crucial, anything that supports an edge in retaining information deserves to be taken seriously. Physical notes taken during a meeting are an incredibly dynamic medium as well, since a pen is a free form tool business owners can experiment with what style of notation allows them the most efficient recall.

Physical notes can cast a wide dragnet when taken, then be pared down and translated to a digital medium. Business owners can take as many notes as they wish, but will often wind up with many more points than are easily transferable to a digital medium. Instead, they can scan the information they gathered and quickly synthesize information rich bullet points to add to their digital organizers. Should they lose sight of the meaning behind their truncated data point, they can simply return to their physical notes to reaffirm the meaning of the abbreviation. Along with organizing their email accounts, filling out a digital calendar and managing their cloud based communications, note taking towards the end of annotating appointments and to do lists is a powerful move towards a more focused work week.

It communicates a high level of attention. Within the context of a business meeting, taking notes can communicate the level of attention being paid to what has been stated, and reaffirm to clients and partners that what they are saying is important. By writing down key statements during a meeting, as well as recording major takeaways and breakthroughs that might occur, allows a much richer retention of the topics discussed as well as the progression of thought that takes place.

Photo Credit to Brady on Flickr

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