This post by David Seah, paper productivity designer-extraordinaire, is about the value of using a journal to take hand-written notes about things you’re currently studying. Writing your notes out by hand forces you to distill your thinking before you put pen to paper, and the act of writing is a form of reinforcement that can help cement the material in your head, where it really matters:
There’s so much material out there now that the task of learning is equated with finding resources: the right teacher, book, or online tutorial is perceived as the “magic bullet” that will get things done. However, what I have forgotten is that the process of distilling these ideas into a form that I can invoke at will is necessary as well. It’s my missing link…
I went out and bought [a notebook] and pasted a paper label on the front of it. The idea is to start recording the same kind of notes that I used to do in the 7th through 12th grade; looking back, it was a highly productive period of time for me, though I didn’t recognize it then. I’m thinking of just writing down really basic things that are currently mystifying, by hand, for reference in this book.
I know there are plenty of reference books and online sources that purport to do this already, but do you think any aspiring wizard would buy their spellbook off-the-shelf? NO WAY! They would be told by their cantankerous mentors to go find a sturdy book and pen, and transcribe their spells themselves by hand. Because that’s the way you learn, and that’s the way you bind the magic to yourself.
I highly recommend this method to anyone who is currently in the process of working their way through the Personal MBA. It’s a simple process that works wonders.
I also recommend checking out David’s Printable CEO paper productivity forms. I use the Emergent Task Planner and Project Projector on a daily basis, and I find them extraordinarily useful for planning my daily and weekly tasks. Enjoy!
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A practitioner's guide to rapid skill acquisition. Accelerate your learning by deconstructing complex skills, practicing the most important elements first, and removing barriers to deliberate practice. What do you want to learn? More...