When I want to remember something, I very rarely take notes.
I think my stance has always been, when in meetings, during presentations, conferences etc, that if it’s worth remembering, I will. No need to have a filled note block with illegible scribbled notes, which I won’t be able to grasp anyway.
Another part of me, probably in vain, believes that it’s good mental training. Like, if I have to remember a lot of things, it keeps my mind in shape, as opposed to just writing everything down and then let it go.
One could argue, though, that if you drive to a place with your car, bike (or vehicle of your choosing), you remember the way there better, than if you had been just a passenger. And maybe the same goes for taking notes: if you write things down, it’s printed in the back of your skull forever. Or something.
There’s an exception to the rule, though. Ideas for blog posts, things to test and develop and inspiration for upcoming presentations I will give – basically all things that are pretty far in the future – I occasionally take very light notes, as inspiration. And when I do, I use the excellent service Evernote. It’s free, their desktop app is very good and I can also use it on my iPhone.
The key thing, though, with Evernote, is that my notes are automatically synchronized between locations and devices. Other people are completely dependent on writing notes with pen and paper, and have developed truly elaborate systems to do that.
Do you take notes? Why or why not? And if you do, how do you do it?