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Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Best Note Taking Tools

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Best Note Taking Tools

Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

What’s your favorite tool for taking notes at important meetings?

1. Evernote

dave-nevogt

    I have Evernote open on my mobile constantly to take notes at meetings. It allows me to travel light without having to bring the computer and syncs along. I announce to the other party that I am taking notes so they still know that I am paying attention and not texting or answering emails.

    Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

    2. Fleksy

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    John Hall

      With Fleksy, I don’t have to look at the keyboard while I type. I can keep eye contact with the people in the meeting and take notes at the same time.

      John Hall, Influence & Co.

       

      3. A Moleskine Notebook

      Patrick Vlaskovits

        The Moleskine notebook has the perfect form factor. It slips into my pocket and looks great. It’s unbeatable.

        Patrick Vlaskovits, The Lean Entrepreneur
        4. A Classic Notepad

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        Andy Karuza

          I still love the traditional way of jotting down quick notes or even drawing necessary diagrams at the same time to help communicate the message from the meeting. If I want to go digital, I just snap a photo of the notes with my phone and email it to myself.

          Andy Karuza, Brandbuddee

          5. Basecamp

          Patrick Conley

            We have people on our team who take amazing notes during our calls, especially when talking to clients. I’ve found that taking notes distracts me and pulls me out of the moment. We record all of our important calls and have team members taking great notes that we store withBasecamp so that we never lose important discussions.

            Patrick Conley, Automation Heroes

            6. Evernote Moleskine

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            Brennan White

              I find typing during meetings sends the wrong message no matter how polite you are in explaining your intentions. It removes eye contact and shows disinterest. To combat this, I use Evernote Moleskine, a notebook that digitizes your writing into searchable online text. Your colleagues feel you’re engaged, and you have a perfect set of notes.

              Brennan White, Watchtower

              7. iA Writer

              Chuck Reynolds

                During meetings or calls, I constantly rely on iA Writer. It supports markdown to quickly format content and, most importantly, autosaves constantly. I’ve never lost notes even when I don’t save them right away. It’s amazing. Other tools were too volatile, and I’ve lost notes during meetings because of crashes. IA Writer is superior, and I highly recommend it.

                Chuck Reynolds, Levers

                8. A Composition Book

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                Saul Garlick

                  It’s from elementary school, but it works just as well. I put a wide-ruled composition book with the classic marble cover into a leather notebook jacket I picked up years ago in Manhattan. The cover keeps it professional while the inside is as strong as ever. I never lose a page and jot down everything that matters.

                  Saul Garlick, ThinkImpact

                  9. Pivotal Tracker

                  jared-brown

                    Any note worth taking should be in the form of an action item. I record action items in a project management tool such as Pivotal Tracker and assign it to someone right there and then. That way tasks and thoughts don’t fall through the cracks after the meeting is over.

                    Jared Brown, Hubstaff

                    More by this author

                    9 No-Brainer Ways to Track Employee Time Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Best Note Taking Tools Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Tips for Mastering Public Speaking Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Tasks You Should be Outsourcing

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                    1 10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful 2 30 Essential Core Values for Living the Life You Want 3 What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It 4 How to Set Long Term Goals and Reach Success 5 Easily Distracted? Here’s How to Regain Your Focus

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                    Last Updated on January 24, 2020

                    10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

                    10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

                    Habits are behaviors and patterns that you showcase by default. They enable you to carry out crucial activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting prepared for work.

                    Interestingly, you follow this routine every day without considering them. Your unconscious habits create room for your brain to perform more advanced activities like problem-solving and choosing what book to read.

                    Everyone has habits, and several of those habits are activated every day. I would classify them into three groups:

                    • The first category includes the habits that you hardly notice as they have become a major part of your life- such as brushing teeth or wearing clothes.
                    • The second category comprises good habits to have to be more successful-like eating healthily, exercising your body and reading books.
                    • The last group consists of those habits that are harmful-like procrastinating, smoking or overeating.

                    Habits are fundamental to becoming successful in life — or probably ending up a failure. Yet, as significant as habits are, some lack the knowledge of their capabilities.

                    Habits are default activities that you engage in without giving an afterthought. They are automatic behavioral or mental activities. They help you carry out some actions without exerting too much energy. They simplify your life.

                    Several people aspire to break bad habits. For instance, some people diet to stop overeating. They exercise to reduce obesity. Habits can hinder or impact your performance and productivity.

                    That’s why I would share 10 good habits to have to be more successful in life.

                    1. Begin Your Day with Meditation

                    I recommend mindful meditation early in the morning. This practice helps you to be in the present moment. Consequently, it enables you to be mindful of challenging situations during the day.

                    Different stressors may trigger as you go through the day; meditation helps you to remain calm before taking on the challenges.

                    Personally, it helps me to devise strategies and think about ideas. Meditation is a good habit to have if you want to be connected to what’s significant in your life.

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                    2. Be Grateful for What You Have

                    Sometimes, you waste time thinking of what’s not enough. You become immersed in those daunting challenges. However, challenges justify the presence of hope. When you have life, you have expectations. You will be free from challenges when you are six feet under. The only strategy you have to stop focusing on your problems is to focus on what you have.

                    Gratitude is a time-tested pathway to success, health, and happiness. It redirects your focus to what you have from what you lack. Here’s what James Clear does every day,[1]

                    “I say one thing I’m grateful for each day when I sit down to eat dinner.”

                    3. Smile

                    Can you pause and smile before you continue reading this?

                    Now here is what just happened based on research conducted by the Association for Psychological Science; you set a pace for living a happier life when you smile. A genuine smile or what’s called a Duchenne smile is a good habit to have if you want to find spiritual, emotional and mental peace of mind.[2]

                    Smiling induces the release of molecules that function towards fighting stress. The physiological state of your body determines the state of your mind. When you slouch or frown, your mind takes cues relating to unhappiness and depression. But, once you adjust yourself by putting up a smile, you begin to feel a new level of excitement and vibrancy.

                    Can you smile again?

                    4. Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast

                    Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is a good habit to have and forms a crucial part of your life. Nevertheless, about 31 million Americans skip their breakfast each day.[3]

                    If you are fed up hearing that breakfast is a crucial component of your day, you are only fighting the truth. If you want to become more successful, you need to ‘break your fast’ with healthy foods every morning.

                    This habit is not difficult to form if you usually rush out the door every single morning. You can wake up earlier to fix yourself a meal so you don’t break down during the day.

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                    Get inspired by these 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time.

                    5. Exercise Daily

                    One of the good habits to have is to exercise your body and muscles every day. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift a weight. You only need to engage in less strenuous activities that oxygenate your blood and inject endorphins in your body.

                    Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, classified exercise as a good habit to maximize his already jam-packed schedule.[4] He said,

                    ‘I wake up by 5, meditate for 30 minutes, seven-minute workout times three, make coffee, and check-in.’

                    He said on Product Hunt that he follows this routine every day as it gives him a steady-state that empowers him to be more productive.

                    6. Manage Your Time as You Manage Your Finance

                    Another good habit is the act of managing your time effectively. This goes a long way to impact your achievement.

                    Time management is what separates the successful from the rest of the world as we all possess the same amount of time. How you leverage time determines your potential to succeed in life.

                    So how do you manage your time effectively?

                    Here’s Jack Dorsey’s recommendation in one of the Techonomy events;

                    “I accomplish effective time management by theming my days and practicing self-discipline. These themes help me handle distractions and interactions. If a request or task does not align with the theme for that day, I don’t do it. This sets a cadence for everyone in the company to deliver and evaluate their progress”.

                    And this is Dorsey’s weekly theme:[5]

                    • Monday – Management
                    • Tuesdays – Product
                    • Wednesday – Marketing and growth
                    • Thursdays – Developers and partnerships
                    • Fridays – Culture and recruiting
                    • Saturdays – Taking off
                    • Sundays – Reflection, feedback, strategy, and preparing for Monday

                    No wonder he was able to run two companies when others were struggling with one job.

                    7. Set Daily Goals with Intentions

                    Everyone has goals. It may relate to business or personal life. The truth is, we’re all tending towards a particular direction or another. Nevertheless, while long-term goals can offer you direction, it’s your daily goals that you establish that help you develop short-term goals that are essential for your success.

                    Long-term goals may not give you the motivation you need to keep on. But when you implement your short-term milestones daily, you become fired up, and you can overcome the challenges that come with taking on bigger tasks.

                    Here’s the main truth:Successful people don’t set goals without establishing their intentions. According to Jennifer Cohen of Forbes,[6]

                    “What helps you to achieve your desired expectation is ensuring intentions accompany your daily goals.”

                    Be intentional about your daily goals!

                    8. Seek Inspiration

                    It is usually difficult to be inspired for a considerable length of time. Sometimes, you become discouraged and feel like giving up on your goals when things are not working out as intended.

                    A practical approach to stay on top of the situation is to inspire yourself each day. When you wake up in the morning after meditation, watch some motivational videos, and let the story of great leaders inspire you.

                    Establish what Anthony Robbins called the ‘hour of power.’ Determine how many minutes you spend but make it count. Inspiration is the fuel for achievement because when you can conceive it in your mind, you can accomplish it.

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                    Michal Solowow, an investor and the founder of Mitex, a construction company puts it this way,[7]

                    “The problems I encounter in everyday life motivates me to find solutions. This is a self-propelling mechanism. becoming a billionaire was never a motivating factor.”

                    9. Save Steadily, Invest with All Prudence

                    I can exhaust the good habits to have without talking about saving and investing. Most times, you overlook the significance of saving for the future when you are living in your present moment. According to CNBC, a $1000 emergency will propel several Americans into debt.[8]

                    However, it is not enough to save, and you must invest your fund and be wise with it. If you pay attention to this now, you will set yourself for a life of success in the future. Ensure you save at least six months in your emergency account so you can be prepared for any future emergency.

                    10. Budget and Track Your Spendings

                    Benjamin Franklin warned of taking the precaution of little expenses. He said,

                    “A small leak sinks a great ship.”

                    It is easy to discard little expenses, but the truth is they always add up. This happens when you fail to budget.

                    Budgeting is a good habit to have, which can impact your financial life significantly. The money you spend on extravagant lifestyles can be saved and invested in your future.

                    The Bottom Line

                    Endeavor to cultivate these good habits to have to become more successful as you journey through life. The quicker you cultivate them, the faster you achieve your goals.

                    More About Habits

                    Featured photo credit: Andrijana Bozic via unsplash.com

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                    Reference

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