Your Notes Are Meant For Much More Than Just Storing Away

Ev Chapman
May 2, 2022
2 min read

For years I clipped notes from things I was reading & consuming and put them into a notes inbox to process.

I was under the impression like many people that notes were some static thing that were meant to be stored away for safekeeping in case I might need them sometime. I was optimising the process of note-taking for storage.

When it came to my notes inbox it was all about processing. Getting as many notes processed and into categories and stored away as possible. But I was missing out on something more important when it came to notes (& something far more joyful than processing) - not-making as a process for thought.

Here's what happened when I stopped optimising note-making for storage and started optimising it for thinking.

From Notes Inbox to Writing Inbox. The way you name things creates a signal in your brain for what action you should be taking. I created the signal that when I jumped into my writing inbox I was writing (in other words thinking).

No Inbox Zero. When you optimise for thinking you are less worried about getting to the bottom of your inbox or how many notes you can process and more concerned with the quality of your thoughts.

The outcome takes care of itself. My ultimate outcome is to build a library of knowledge that supports and fuels my writing. I never worry about the outcome, because the process is optimised correctly. Spending time thinking daily produces the outcome I ultimately want.

Just like most people hate processing their email inbox, if you've fallen into the habit of treating your notes as storage - try optimising for a different outcome and see if you can put the joy back into making notes.

Liked thIS? Then You Might Like My SPARK Newsletter...

The ‚ú® Spark Newsletter:
‚ÄćTurn Your Personal Knowledge Into Powerful Ideas & Increase Your Income, Opportunities & Authority.

Join 1200+ readers of The Spark Newsletter each Sunday learning how to leverage personal knowledge into powerful ideas.
Or Keep Browsing More Posts Like This...

How to Find and Share Ideas No One Else Is Talking About

Three beliefs held me back from getting started sharing my ideas online. (And the simple shift I made to overcome them) ‚Üď
Read post

Talk It Out: 3 Effective Ways to Capture Ideas with Your Voice

Capturing ideas might be one of the most important practices we can develop as humans. But is writing or typing the only way to capture those ideas? Think again...
Read post

The Unexpected Way to Gain Deep Insights from Social Media

Social media gets a bad wrap these days. And for some good reasons. It's easy to get caught up with the doomscrolling, letting it distract us, getting into arguments we shouldn't, helping us procrastinate, not doing good things for our mental health. And yet. It's still my biggest category of saved items in my knowledge library & serves me up a wealth of new ideas every single day.
Read post

3 Weird Things I Do to Stay Inspired Every Day

One weird habit has kept me consistently writing for the past four years.Before I was known as Ev Chapman, Prolific Creator. I was Ev Chapman, Wannabe creator.
Read post

4 Simple Steps to Make Your Notes More Useful In Real Life Projects

What if you didn't have to start each project with a blank page?
Read post

Forget Book Summaries: This Note-Taking Method Will Change How You Read Books

Unpopular Opinion: You don't need to create a book summary from your notes to make them useful. This isn't Miss Johnson's fifth grade class ūü§ď
Read post