Taking notes in the dark

A guest blog by GTD user, Dan Haygeman

One tactic I learned from Ed Lamont (Founding Partner of Next Action Associates) a couple of years ago was the practice of carrying a very small, tiny pad of notepaper in a very thin wallet (about the size of a pack of cigarettes and perhaps half the thickness of an iPhone 5s) with a small pen attached; and carrying that tiny notebook everywhere I went.

I protested that I already had my pocket Day-Timer for making notes portably, but Ed stressed that my Day-Timer, while useful for some things, was too thick and I probably wouldn’t actually carry it everywhere. He claimed that some of his best ideas had occurred to him in situations where he would not have a way of capturing them absent his tiny notepad.

These days I still use that same wallet and notepad, for a number of reasons in addition to those already mentioned. For one thing, the pads are perforated so that I can write a single thought or action item on each page. When I get to my office in the morning, I simply tear out the sheets I’ve accumulated up to that point and toss them into my inbox for when I have a processing session.

I also keep this notepad next to my bed so that if I wake in the night I can open the notepad wallet and scribble something without turning on the light (a feature which my wife, Nance, especially appreciates.) To make sure I can have another “in the dark thought” without covering the previous one, I simply fold each page in half horizontally so it’s easy to locate a fresh page.

Regardless of how brilliant and prolific I am, which happens frequently these days, it’s all because of this tiny notepad.

How do you use GTD? We’d love to hear your hints, tips and personal experiences. Email us at info@next-action.eu 

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