Why You Should Take Notes
How taking notes on your life can make it better.
Quote of the Week
“The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory”
– Chinese proverb
The above proverb is frequently reworded to, “Better a dull pencil than a sharp mind.”
Note taking is a bit of an obsession of mine. Between sticky notes and notebooks, I am always taking notes for future use. I’m obsessed right now with a reusable smart notebook that can be backed up to cloud storage and erased with heat or a damp cloth.
This is especially true right now, as I am in my first year of working as a tax preparer, and my phone rings off the hook. The only way I can keep everything straight and make sure everything gets done is to write it all down.
Of course, we all have the best of intentions of remembering things, but today’s world throws so much at us that it is hard to keep everything in mind. Work, personal, and family schedules are usually jam-packed, and each usually has its own to-do list.
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The Case for Journaling
Journaling can help a lot to keep your mind focused. Journaling is so important to me that I wrote a post, 3 Reasons Why You Should Be Journaling, and I’m currently working on a journal-prompt guide, The 365 Day Journal Challenge. Look for it shortly.
Writing things down helps to reduce stress. Really? That may not seem possible, but there is some peace of mind in knowing you don’t have to remember something because it is written down in a safe place.
Journaling helps because it helps you to make sense of the noise and the confusion that can sometimes fill your mind. I like to call it a “brain dump” because it’s my chance to spew out everything in my head in a safe environment.
No one’s feelings are going to get hurt, and you won’t have to apologize for anything you write in a journal. Well, as long as you don’t let anyone read it, and no one should read it because it’s your safe place.
Write It Down
Upset about something? Write down what you are thinking and feeling. Once the words are out of your head, you may find that you feel differently.
Need bread at the store? Right it down on something you will have with you when you go to the store.
This week, concentrate on getting more out of your head and on to paper (or some other digital medium.) Then take note of how it affects you to know that things are written in a safe place.
Featured Post of the Week
Everyone wants to be happier, but this can be especially challenging when you are coping with a mental illness.
What can you do to help?
Read How To Be Happier: Change Your Mental Illness Perspective for useful tips.
Featured Book of the Week
Do you have friends and family that are struggling to understand your diagnosis? Do you have questions about how to handle your treatment and what you can do to live the best life possible?
The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide by David J. Miklowitz, Ph.D., was written to help patients and their loved ones better understand the illness and how to cope with it successfully. It’s full of great information.
Featured Song of the Week
I’m a little obsessed with Peter Hollens. If you’ve never heard of Peter, he’s a YouTube sensation who mostly produces acapella songs. This is one of my favorites: I See Fire from The Hobbit.
What’s New In My Life
As I mentioned, I am a tax preparer and right in the middle of tax season here in the US. That means that my life right now is pretty much work and sleep.
However, I am looking forward to getting back out in my yard soon (my daffodils, crocuses, and hyacinths are in full bloom, though coming up through dead leaves I still haven’t raked up) if the rain will ever stop here in Tennessee.
What are you up to these days?
Until next time, keep fighting.
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I’m always making notes, on everything I do in life. I love to keep a track of my feelings and my thought processes. It’s always fun to read them back years later too! xxxx
I agree. I’ve been journaling almost since I was old enough to hold a pen. Thanks for visiting and for commenting.
I posted your about blog on fb. Great writing.
Thank you so much! I really appreciate readers like you.
I also write notes all the time – I use a notebook that I carry around everywhere with me. It’s universal- journaling, to do lists, schedules. I also highlight anything that I need to discuss with my therapist.
On another note, I am so grateful to have found this blog.
Strangely enough, I have Bipolar 2 (properly diagnosed under a year ago – but always suspected) and my husband has FMF. You can imagine how many times I’ve had to explain what it is.
You can imagine in a relationship what that does. So now I can send someone a link to this blog to properly explain both.
Can on blogging! I can’t imagine what it’s like to live with both.
These posts are such a relief to see how someone is working through them.
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. You completely made my Friday.
I’m glad you found some value in my posts. With FMF, there is very little information available, so that is why I wanted to share my experience. Bipolar is its own animal, and I’d like people to see that it’s much different than what is usually portrayed on TV or in movies. Please come back to visit again soon.
Thanks for commenting.
Notes are certainly fine. I do make short notes while I work on large pieces of research, just to keep tough terms consistent throughout, say 100 pages.
It’s hard to imagine for me that somebody has so many events that they have to write them down. If there are hundreds of notes don’t you miss something still?
I do refuse unimportant things and prioritize important ones.
I am somebody who due to drawing and reading since early childhood developed a photographic memory.
I draw and paint every day practically. Just stopped now due to mom’s tragic fall, stroke and eventually she left us a bit more than a week ago.
I keep all appointments, schedule of classes I give, even invoice amounts and due dates of payments in my head.
I never miss any appointment or deadline, have not for many decades now.
Well, I belong to these people who hate lists and never make them. I am seeing no use for them. I am somebody who believes in not delegating any single bit of my memory function to devices.
If you want to remember things better, even the recent research in cognitive improvement shows us it is way better to draw or sketch reminders, like you mention do journaling and altogether create a diary which consists of your drawings. People who suffered quite noticeable memory loss could recall things which they had drawn, not written.
I find that people have become very distracted due to devices and they are literally not engaging memory because why to bother if you can set alarms, reminders, etc. on any device?
Notes are crutches, sometimes very useful, but once you start relying on them, your brain knows it doesn’t need to try so hard. So, every day less and less brain work eventually leads to weaker memory.
But you are right regarding most people; whatever way they take or make notes, they need them. They need planners, schedule books and all kinds of other things.
Thankfully, I do not, and I’m extra happy about that. Sharpening mind is a great exercise.
I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. Losing a parent is very hard.
You make some excellent points in your comment. Thank you for taking the time to write it. I actually find that taking notes improves my memory as I’m more likely to remember something I’ve written down. That said, all my notes are very organized. It’s great that your memory is so strong. That’s a real gift and one that many of us living with mental illness don’t have.
Anything written is better than producing from memory. Profound.
I agree. Thanks for commenting.
You are welcome Scott. I am more of a digital note taker. I do from time to time do paper notes i.e. When I awake from sleep and I have a thought I may jot it down so as to remember.
I love the concept of note taking and do it quite copiously as a rule. I have lots of notes in my journal. Some started and incomplete then they become part of another idea at a later time. I also do notes as a rule to just put my thoughts initially on paper before finalizing
Welcome fellow note taker! I am obsessed with notes and have them everywhere. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and share your thoughts.