There’s gold in those notes!

Recently, I was at a weekend business conference. I sat in all the sessions, went to smaller breakout sessions, had loads of conversations and took pages and pages of notes – jotting down action items, thoughts that came up while I was in sessions, notes on things that made me think, and great ideas I heard or came up with.

Now am I back at my desk, with my notebook beside me, reviewing the notes I took.

It occurs to me that the way I deal with the notes I take has changed radically over the years.

Back when I was in school, I would take notes, review them, highlight them, study them. And then, when the class was over – I would forget about them.

I kept the habit of taking notes over the years, but somewhere along the line lost the habit of reviewing them. I’d almost never go back and review notes, and as a result, I know I missed some great opportunities.

Finally, as I began to build my business, I realized that taking notes and then forgetting them wasn’t serving me well. There were great ideas in there! There were potential clients and opportunities in there. There were notes about people I wanted to follow up with. There were all kinds of actions to take, and I wasn’t taking any of them.

So, I took a really hard look at what I was doing. And, I figured out a way to make it work for myself.

Now, when I go to a class, a meeting, or a conference – I take the notes I need to take to jog my memory. I capture my ideas. I write down those actions I want to take. I write down what I told someone I would do (and the date I told them I would do it).

And, after every conference or meeting – I have time scheduled in my day to review those notes. During the review, I move all the action items into my calendar. I don’t just put them on a list – I look at when, exactly, I will be doing that action (making that phone call, researching that topic, reviewing that material, etc.)

That one change has made a huge difference in my business! Now, I don’t worry that too much time has gone by, and I have missed an opportunity.

Because I know what I am going to do next…

Now, what gems are you missing because you haven’t looked at your notes?

(c) Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

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Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at


6 Responses to There’s gold in those notes!

  1. Paula says:

    Oh boy, that is a biggie. I have been trying to figure out a way to capture and organize all that info over the last two years…Great suggestion, Terry, for taking immediate action.

  2. Mary says:

    I am guilty of this. I love jotting down notes and then forgetting them until I really need them again. What a great idea to make it more personal by adding dates and time on ideas you want to work on. Thanks for the great tip!

  3. kiylafenell says:

    Great tip Terry! I have mountains of notebooks…I love to read and take action immediately following an event because i know if I don’t they will get “lost” in the pile. Thanks!

    Kiyla Fenell

  4. kiylafenell says:


    Great point! There is gold in the notes. I ensure that following every event I re-read and pull out the contacts, nuggets and any action steps I need to take. Thanks!

    Kiyla Fenell

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