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How Note Taking Helps Me Come up with Hundreds of Creative Ideas

How Note Taking Helps Me Come up with Hundreds of Creative Ideas

Note taking always seems boring to people. It never seems to be something that will boost creativity. But this is not true.

If you are looking for an approach to help you think clearly and more creatively, Visual Note-taking or Sketchnoting will help. This technique will keep your brain active, engaged, and highly stimulated. Let’s look at what Visual Note-taking is, why you should use it, and how you can develop it.

What Exactly Is Visual Note Taking?

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    Visual Note-taking combines handwritten notes, symbols, drawings, and your creative brain.[1] You do not have to be an artist nor possess any experience whatsoever to use this technique.

    Additionally, you do not need expensive or fancy tools. All you need is a pen and paper.

    How Visual Note Taking Stimulates Your Brain

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      Visual Note-taking is an excellent method to connect (previously unseen) dots. These are the benefits of visual note taking:

      • Improved memory retention.
      • Active, engaged, and highly stimulated brain.
      • A better and more creative critical thinker and problem solver.
      • More creative ideas to be connected in different way.
      • Notes will become easier to review.

      Transform Ideas Through Visual Communication

        Try thinking like a comic book when you use this technique. The next time you are listening to a presentation, a lecture, or in a meeting, try to take notes visually. If you are a teacher, professor, or instructor, try developing your next lesson plan visually. Let’s see how.

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        • Step #1: Draw a line through the middle of your paper.
        • Step #2: On one side take hand written notes. The other side is for drawing.
        • Step #3: Do not write down everything verbatim, instead, use acronyms or abbreviations.
        • Step #4: Write down the key 4 or 5 main points or concepts.
        • Step #5: Start experimenting!

        Jetpens.com provides excellent examples of the following to use for beginning Visual Note-takers: Text, Shapes, Containers or Frames, Connectors, Icons, and Symbols.

          • Text: Try to make your text stand out. For example, if you are using the word “bold” make sure it appears as “BOLD” or “moving” should feel like it is literally MOVING!
          • Shapes: Use basic shapes and then make them come alive. For example, overlap two circles and turn them into a Venn diagram.
          • Frames: Use containers or frames to help consolidate or collect your ideas. For example, add a cloud over the head of person or symbol and include a quote from a lecture.
          • Connectors: Use connectors to link ideas or connect your thoughts via roads or networks.
          • Symbols: This is the easiest and best way to start on your journey to become a Visual Note-taker. If you are taking notes on economics, simply start adding visual symbols of money; or communication, start using symbols of an iPhone or e-mail. There are so many ways to make this work.

          So, how do you bring this all together? The easy answer is simply to just have fun and allow yourself to have fun. If you mess up, draw a new image! You must practice and experiment to make this work.

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            Continue on Your Visual Note-taking Journey

            Finally, let me recommend some references for you to explore more about visual note-taking so you can apply the skill right away.

            Remember, there is no limit to what your mind can create. Visualize success when using this skill as there are an infinite amount of ways you can use it.

              Reference

              More by this author

              Dr. Jamie Schwandt

              Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

              How to Upgrade Your Critical Thinking Skills and Make Smart Choices How to Reprogram Your Brain Like a Computer And Hack Your Habits 5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory 10 Hacks to Increase Your Brain IQ, Focus and Creativity 9 Game Changing Tips on How to Write Goals (and Reach Them!)

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              Last Updated on May 24, 2019

              How to Be Productive at Home and Make Every Day a Productive Day

              How to Be Productive at Home and Make Every Day a Productive Day

              If you’ve ever wondered how to be productive at home or how you could possibly have a more productive day, look no further.

              Below you’ll find six easy tips that will help you make the most out of your time:

              1. Create a Good Morning Routine

              One of the best ways to start your day is to get up early and eat a healthy breakfast.

              CEOs and other successful people have similar morning routines, which include exercising and quickly scanning their inboxes to find the most urgent tasks.[1]

              You can also try writing first thing in the morning to warm up your brain[2] (750 words will help with that). But no matter what you choose to do, remember to create good morning habits so that you can have a more productive day.

              If you aren’t sure how to make morning routine work for you, this guide will help you:

              The Ultimate Morning Routine to Make You Happy And Productive All Day

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              2. Prioritize

              Sometimes we can’t have a productive day because we just don’t know where to start. When that’s the case, the most simple solution is to list everything you need to get accomplished, then prioritize these tasks based on importance and urgency.

              Week Plan is a simple web app that will help you prioritize your week using the Covey time management grid. Here’s an example of it:[3]

                If you get the most pressing and important items done first, you will be able to be more productive while keeping stress levels down.

                Lifehack’s CEO, Leon, also has great advice on how to prioritize. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

                How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                3. Focus on One Thing at a Time

                One of the biggest killers of productivity is distractions. Whether it be noise or thoughts or games, distractions are a barrier to any productive day. That’s why it’s important to know where and when you work best.

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                Need a little background noise to keep you on track? Try working in a coffee shop.

                Can’t stand to hear even the ticking of a clock while writing? Go to a library and put in your headphones.

                Don’t be afraid to utilize technology to make the best of your time. Sites like [email protected] and Simply Noise can help keep you focused and productive all day long.

                And here’s some great apps to help you focus: 10 Online Apps for Better Focus

                4. Take Breaks

                Focusing, however, can drain a lot of energy and too much of it at once can quickly turn your productive day unproductive.

                To reduce mental fatigue while staying on task, try using the Pomodoro Technique. It requires working on a task for 25 minutes, then taking a short break before another 25 minute session.

                After four “pomodoro sessions,” be sure to take a longer break to rest and reflect.

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                I like to work in 25 and 5 minute increments, but you should find out what works best for you.

                5. Manage Your Time Effectively

                A learning strategies consultant once told me that there is no such thing as free time, only unstructured time.

                How do you know when exactly you have free time?

                By using the RescueTime app, you can see when you have free time, when you are productive, and when you actually waste time.

                With this data, you can better plan out your day and keep yourself on track.

                Moreover, you can increase the quality of low-intensity time. For example, reading the news while exercising or listening to meeting notes while cooking. Many of the mundane tasks we routinely accomplish can be paired with other tasks that lead to an overall more productive day.

                A bonus tip, even your real free time can be used productively, find out how:

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                20 Productive Ways to Use Your Free Time

                6. Celebrate and Reflect

                No matter how you execute a productive day, make sure to take time and celebrate what you’ve accomplished. It’s important to reward yourself so that you can continue doing great work. Plus, a reward system is an incredible motivator.

                Additionally, you should reflect on your day in order to find out what worked and what didn’t. Reflection not only increases future productivity, but also gives your brain time to decompress and de-stress.

                Try these 10 questions for daily self reflection.

                More Articles About Daily Productivity

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                Reference

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