NeilLewin.com

My personal home on the web…

Note-pocalypse

January was, as ever, a hectic month at work… with many, many, meetings, calls and other updates to keep me on my toes.  I needed to rethink my entire note-taking strategy, which led me to discover a neat method to keep everything together…

Whilst I generally jot notes for meetings and call into the one place, and scan them to Evernote*, there were a couple of times when I ended up out of the office.  My simple system quickly began to unravel.

I soon realised the need to invest in a single notebook, one which would never leave my side.  This led me to Amazon, and I was quickly weighing up the pros and cons of two different ones using the reviews… that’s when I happened on a new term I hadn’t come across before…

Enter the ‘Bullet Journal’

Bullet journal review

 

I happened to spot a couple of the reviewers mentioning about starting a Bullet Journal… what’s a Buller Journal?!

Soon I found BulletJournal.com, a nicely presented site by Ryder Carroll, the creator of Bullet Journalling.  As well as a  fast way to capture your thoughts (as bullet points of course),  Bullet Journals also give you a neat plan for future months and has a structure for carrying out task reviews and setting priorities.

The key components are:

  • Table of contents
  • 6 month planning spread
  • Month plan
  • Day-to-day bullet plan
  • Regular task reviews

There’s a key to denote different types of bullet, and these are used throughout –

• is a todo
– is a note
º is an event

It’s all really adaptable – for instance, I use section markers to denote the start and end of meetings and calls:

// Chessington meeting

• task one
– note
– note 2

// End meeting

Monthly review

As tasks are complete, you put an x through the • .  And at the end of each month, you review and carry forward important tasks that are still to do:

> turning the dot into this indicates you’ve moved the task on a month
< this shows it’s gone into the ‘someday’ pile

I only started at the beginning of February, so I’ll see how this goes in a few weeks!  I’ll still be scanning notes into Evernote, and adding #hashtags to help me search them later.

Next steps

Be sure to check out BulletJournal.com, as there’s a great introductory video on there.  Also, there’s a whole collection of Youtubers sharing their tips journals on video.  Whether or not I end up sticking with it remains to be seen, but I enjoyed the fact that something as routine as an Amazon review led to a total rethink on my entire process.

If you’ve got any neat note-taking hacks then please let me know, I’d be interested to hear what works for you.


* If you’ve not come across Evernote, then you should check it out.  It’s a great subscription service which enables you to easily capture all of your notes in one place.  You can tag them, and the paid-for version has the ability to search within your handwriting and scanned documents.  Highly recommended.

Think you can’t draw?

Here’s a fantastic TED Talk that I’ve just finished watching, and I recommend it for anyone that has a message to communicate…

The presenter is Graham Shaw (MD of Vision Learning), and he’s an expert on the art of communication, in fact he has a book all about it.

It’s a great read already – even chapter 1 has a great key insight do with how the brain perceives images v.s. text.  Graham makes the point that text on Powerpoint presentations is basically the same visually, between different slides, and your viewers’ brains have a hard time recalling the details on each.  Therefore, to make a talk more memorable, you need to use vivid imagery.  The human brain is wired to recognise images much more effectively, so being able to draw, even at a basic level, could really help improve your business communication.

The message in the talk is simple, yet powerful, and I encourage you to take a look, and follow along.

Spoiler alert – anyone can draw.

 


P.S. Here’s my version of Spike…

Evernote Snapshot 20160208 212243

 

A new home for my blog

For 2016, I wanted to refocus my personal blog to serve as more of an archive of useful thoughts or things I have found.

The motivations are mostly selfish – I’m constantly reading great things online or in books and coming up with ideas, so I wanted somewhere to put them all.  Evernote has worked well to a point, but since I use that for everything, the key insights and nuggets tend to get buried away amongst the day-to-day clutter.

So this year, I’m ditching the Tumblr blog, and bringing it in house, on NeilLewin.com.

I’m hoping to build up a library of useful insights, thoughts, ideas and more.  I’ve only just got the site live, so I’ll be working through making more posts over the coming months.

If you’ve got any suggestions that you’d find helpful for a techy kind of guy to cover, particularly around business and online, then please drop me a line and I’ll add it to my plans.