Say What
September 18, 2017
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How To Remember Key Pieces Of Information

For as long as I can remember, I have carried with me a hardbound A4 250-page exercise book. I use it to record thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and useful pieces of information that I have picked up, uncovered, researched, or learned.

Some may describe it as a journal. I simply refer to it as The book.

The book has many editions, eight (8) in total, which all sit to the right of my desk, with the latest edition directly next to me for obvious reasons.

Over time I have slowly moved away from documenting my insights in The book, and have found myself utilising technology more and more to fill the role.

My software of choice is Evernote. It is easily installed on all of my devices, I can cut a paste information from any of my devices straight to the software. I can also email information directly to my Evernote account and then go into the software and organise the information as I see fit.

I find it a great piece of software that does everything I need it to do and more.

However using technology has created a huge problem for me.

You see when I was using The book to store information, I had to stop and think about everything I was writing down. Thoughts had to be condensed, ideas simplified, pieces of information need to be understood before they were recorded.

The simple truth was I became more understanding of the content I was collecting because I was writing it out by hand. The other upside of using The book, and having to go through the effort of recording everything by hand, was that I knew and remembered where each piece of information was, even way after I had written it down.

I mean like years after!

What I have found is that since using technology, two things have happened:

  1. I don’t explore, learn, and understand as much about the idea, thought, or piece of information as I did using The book
  2. I don’t always remember under which heading or topic I stored a certain piece of information

I am sure people way more educated than I have done endless hours of research on learning, storing, and remembering key pieces of information, and the best way to do it.

For me, I have once again realised that convenience is not always the best!

Therefore, there are two things that are now happening:

  1. I am once again recording everything in The book, edition eight (8)
  2. I am now going back through everything I have previously stored using technology and writing it all by hand back into The book

Now, I am the first to admit that the scenario I have just outlined has a lot to do with me and how I do things, and the reason behind how or why it isn’t working the way it should is mainly because of yours truly.

However, I can’t help but feel there is a lot more that can be learned and understood by taking the time and making the extra effort to write out by hand the information that is important.

And the subsequent increased learning and understanding doesn’t just apply to me it is the same for all, you included.

Taking the time to think through what pieces of information we want to store, and then carefully handwriting it out in a particular style causes us to learn and understand way better than a simple cut and paste.

So please consider giving the old handwritten method another go. I’m sure in doing so you will go along way in ensuring that there will be increased learning and understanding and that…

The Journey Continues!

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