Today we’re sharing a quick way to take good notes on the amazing information we learn, organize those notes so they can be accessed within 30 seconds, and make it simple to actually apply the information to our lives!
Here’s the opportunity:
We love consuming books, videos, articles, and courses—online and offline—but we often end up with random highlights or annotations, screen shots strewn throughout our other photos and digital files, hundreds of digital and paper bookmarks, and stacks of spiral-bound notebooks filled with scribbles that we know are valuable, but that we rarely—if ever—access and apply to our lives.
The process we’re going to walk you through today involves Evernote (an amazing app that Eric and I personally use every day), but it could also be applied using OneNote or another digital system you prefer. I’ve been doing this for the past few years, and honestly, it has revolutionized the way I learn. I take notes in a more focused way, it’s easy to locate those notes on my phone or computer (within seconds), and I find that it’s way easier to apply the things I’m learning into my day-to-day life—which ultimately strengthens me, my family, and my business.
My Evernote process:
(1) Create as many Notebooks as you need to organize the things you learn. I have three.
(2) Create a Notebook Stack for those notebooks. I call mine “Education Stack.”
(3) Create a new note as you move forward for each course, book, ebook, article, etc. that has ideas you want to record and remember.
Use a title with logical keywords, and perhaps the date you read/consumed that information.
For anything you learn, you may want to add questions to think about or symbols to note actions you want to take on that information. This legend is from episode 7 of the podcast:
For physical books, if you highlight, take a photograph and put that into the note. Or scan/photograph the paragraphs that mean the most to you. You could also do voice-to-text or voice memos to capture information and explain your thoughts.
Here’s a quick video showing how I take book notes and put them into Evernote:
For audiobooks or podcasts, take screen shots of the time stamps, and then either go back and listen/type those quotes or ideas you loved—or delegate that to an assistant or child.
For videos, take screen shots, as well, and add in checklists/summaries of what the videos taught (if they’re not included inside a program…).
For online articles, copy the link, but then also copy as much of the text as you can—because you never know when a link will break or something won’t be available anymore online.
(4) Extract any actionable information before you move on.
If you used the note-taking symbols, you’ll be able to easily scroll through the note and pull those out.
Otherwise, do a quick skim.
Put those into your Command Central as a new project, a routine, a task, an idea to incubate, etc.
Would you like to see an example of a note from my Book Notes notebook in Evernote? In this note, I took notes on a digital book called The Power of Concentration, by Theron Q. Dumont. Click here or on the image below to access the Evernote note and save to your Evernote account!
QUESTION: Do you have any tips or tricks that have helped you to more easily apply the wonderful things you learn?
CHALLENGE: The next time you learn something—no matter how small—and you think, “Wow—I’d like to do something with this information,” create a note inside of Evernote (or the software of your choice) and follow the steps listed above.
Have you ever learned something new then immediately felt overwhelmed because you don’t know how to implement what you’ve learned while still managing the rest of the things on your lists? In our free class, we teach four steps that you can implement today to make forward movement in your life.
In fact, if you want to get the most out of our class, you can use the method outlined here to go through, get the slides, transcript, screenshots, and put them into one note!
There is so much stress involved with all the piles–physical or mental. But we want to help you eliminate those piles for good. Just click here or on the picture below to join our class. We look forward to serving you!