A Simple and Smart way to Take Notes

I thought I'd share my note taking system, as I've had a few people comment on it. I use this whenever I take notes using pen and paper, and using the same system every time means it's way easier to read back through a notebook to understand & action what I've written. I quickly realised my style of note taking is very similar to Bullet Journal although personally I find that system far too much effort.

The Notebook

I'm a bit of a dweeby stationary obsessive at times. The notebook in the pictures is a Field Notes Memo Book. I like this in particular as it is small enough for all pockets, meaning I can carry it with me wherever I go (literally), and it can stand the test of time. You can pick up Field Notes in the UK from The Journal Shop.

Of course the note taking system works with any notebook, although I find I stick to the point a lot more when using a smaller notebook (3x5).

Field Notes Memo Book

The System

The system uses 4 characters: a bullet, hyphen, a box and a hash.

  • Main points are written using a normal sentence with a bullet
  • Sub points to those are written using a hyphen
  • TODO actions have a small box before them
  • And things that need to be researched use a hash first

It really is as simple as that. Using this system means I can take notes quickly and efficiently, and using a smaller notebook means I start a new page for each meeting/day of TODOs/thoughts.

Keeping the system the same each time makes it much easier to scan through previous notes and pick out the important parts.

Scribbly boy writing...

Scribbly boy writing...