Effective ways to write ‘Notes to Self’

As a communications leader, I have the highest regard for people who know the art of note taking. Not only does it help you dole out a neat story, but it also helps you understand topics, ask better questions and be more empathetic. To me, a good note taker is a great listener, and a good listen is a gift – as the famous quote by Richard Moss goes: The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.

This noisy, competent world with information overload has led to a phenomenal concept called ‘self-care’. Self-care is popularly a day to yourself, a favorite drink or a face mask with cucumbers over the eyes and on cold days, a cup of hot chocolate.

To me self-care is that art of giving yourself the purity of your attention. And for me that starts with the information I consume, listening and trusting my intuition and putting down those notes to self! A gift to yourself.

I started journaling when I was five. My father gifted me a diary, and I remember vividly, it was a huge one, with the theme of ancient civilization – Indus Valley, Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. So, got acquainted with Great Bath and Dancing Girl much earlier. I think if it weren’t for this dairy in particular, I wouldn’t be writing at all.

Notes to self is how we talk to ourselves and what are we feeding our minds. There are many resources on how this can ready you for your future self.  If you have been journaling, you will get keen insights on the person you are. Therefore, this is a very important topic, because you are your most important person.

Sometimes to make those notes, your most effective tools are not a notebook and a pen! To make them memorable, desirable and a constant reminder, you have to go beyond the basics.

Here are a few tricks for creating effective notes to self:

Draw: In the book ‘How to think like Leonardo Da Vinci’ by Michael J Gelb, the author suggests putting down a recipe not by writing but by drawing or painting the ingredients. This helps you remember better. I use this trick even to remember restaurants, places, or a great quote, I can’t draw well but I use pictures.

Doodle: Not as exact as drawing. The dictionary defines doodles as ‘a rough drawing made absent-mindedly’, but I think it is a great tool to make effective notes to self. Absent-mindedly or mindfully, a doodle sometimes gives away your current state of mind or the mood of the moment. I have seen some really good doodlers who use real ingredients to express like our own Comms Expert Rajesh Vorkady:

Write an article instead: When I see a pattern in the notes I write, I put them together in an article. This stitching a story or weaving one, helps me organize my thoughts better. Here is one example of my own https://reputationtoday.in/channel-your-energy/ – a collection of quotes I have usually gets converted to an article, but every once in a while, is suitable for public consumption too.

Make it come to life!

This is my favorite. I do not know anyone else who does it, but I use life size reminders for some very very positive notes to self. For instance, I have a few stirring quotes on my journal inspired by flowers like: Be patient with yourself nothing blooms the whole year.  Lost in my ocean of notes, I brought it to life by subscribing to flowers, delivered home. I keep it on my work desk as a reminder of some of the best floral quotes, helps me enjoy the moment, reminds me everything is temporary and just adds so much value to my décor. It’s the most effective form of making notes to self!

So how are you making those notes to self?

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

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Ira Pradhan
Ira is a Corporate Communications Leader with experience in Healthcare, Consumer Electronics, IT, Retail and the Automotive industry. She hails from the small and beautiful state of Sikkim and considers herself a complete Mountain Girl.

In a career spanning over a decade as a communications expert, she has championed and led programs on several sustainable business practices, diversity and inclusion programs.

She loves to read literature, and books on management and development in technology and economics. She mentors young women students & entrepreneurs in her home state, Sikkim.

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