The Notebook Paradox

“You’re hiding behind your notebook.”

He was right. I am an introvert and – many people find this hard to get- actually very shy in new contexts.

My colleague suggested I ditch the notebook and instead focus on making eye contact and being present. His thesis: if it’s important, you’ll remember it.

And he was mostly right. You don’t need a notebook in a meeting. Well, there is one person who needs a notebook: the one that is tasked for that meeting with taking the requisite notes. The fact that people are in their notes or worse, laptop, probably makes for why meetings are often so lousy and useless.

But you do need a notebook. To capture ideas, quotes, insights, poetry and scraps. You name it. And to jot down three things you want to get out of a meeting prior to it and checking back in after the meeting to see how you did, as another idea. And hopefully, you’ll discover some day what consistent journalling brings you.

Writing is a craft that is honed better by well, actually…writing. With a pen. Leading universities are now starting to ban laptops during lectures because neuroscience is showing that when you take notes in a notebook, you make a real synthesis for yourself. As opposed to merely registering what is being said.

Do you have a notebook? How do you keep notes? Take notice?

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