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The Mighty Memo Pad!
  • Calendar Jul 31, 2019
  • User Jared Wells
  • Category In Uncategorized
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I’m going to share with you a tool that can increase your effectiveness in all areas of your life. It’s a memory aid, a communication device, a distraction eliminator, and it’s small enough to fit in your pocket. You can find it at any drug store for a buck or less.

The MIGHTY memo pad

I’m not at all exaggerating when I say that these humble pieces of paper can change your life. How?

In a previous blog post, I talked about all the ways that writing more can help you. A memo pad is a way for you to take the advantages of writing more wherever you go. A memo pad can always be in a pocket or a bag, ready to do its job of being written on at any time.

A memo pad is a memory aid. Writing is a way to help you remember, both because you have a written record to refer back to if you forget and it forces you to pause and focus your attention on the information (making it more likely that you’ll remember it even if you don’t ever refer back to your written record.) By keeping a memo pad with you, you’ll be able to write down much more of the important information you’ll happen to come across on a day to day basis more readily, because you won’t need to go through the relative hassle of pulling a big notebook or a planner out of a backpack. Standing and writing in a memo pad is easy and convenient; writing in a bigger notebook on the go is more awkward, usually requiring a writing surface of some kind.

A memo pad is also a distraction eliminator. When you are trying to focus on something, and distracting ideas and thoughts keep trying to take you off task, take out your memo pad, and write them down. I know that texting a friend about something you just remembered or looking up who played Katniss’ sister in the Hunger Games seems REALLY important right now when your mind is desperate to take you off-task. Write it down, and trust you’ll get to that “important” distraction later without fear of not remembering.

A memo pad is also a communication device. If you want someone else to remember something, write it down, tear it out, and give it to them. They’re more likely to remember when they have a physical piece of paper as a reminder rather than having your reminder lost in a see of notifications on their phone.

Speaking of which, you can also use a memo pad to create “location based reminders” for yourself. Write a note for yourself, tear it out, and leave it in a place you’ll see it when you need it. Need to remember to bring something with you when you leave for school? Leave a note on your keys or your wallet. Need to remember to talk to a teacher about something? Leave a note in your notebook for that class.

By the way, when someone is giving you information, and you whip out a memo pad to write it down, you look super responsible. It’s a way to show the person you are speaking with that you actually care about and value what they are saying. Imagine the difference that kind of impression could make on your relationship with, for example, your teachers. And, by the way, by writing it down, you’ll end up BEING more responsible too.

You might say, “Why do I need a memo pad? I have a note app on my phone, which I already carry with me at all times?” There are many reasons, but the most important reason is that you phone is the ENEMY of focus. It’s true that your phone is a wonderful tool. But if you are like me, every time you unlock your phone, you are wading through a minefield of distraction. And if what you are trying to avoid is distraction, your phone is the LAST thing you should be reaching for.

A couple things to keep in mind:

Using your memo pad well means using it consistently. It has to occur to you to write something down, which will happen when you build the habit of using it. Build the habit of using your memo pad consistently by finding ways to use and look at it every day. Here are a few ideas:

Write down your schedule for the day every day

Write down your to-do list every day

Write down ten ideas every day

Using it every day means you’ll see what you’ve written every day. It doesn’t do any good to write something down you want to remember if you only look at your memo pad every three weeks. If you look at your memo pad every day (or multiple times per day) you'll repeatedly see the things that you need to see repeatedly!

Your memo pad is a temporary storage. Things that go in your memo pad are things that either only need to be there for a short time (like a daily schedule or a reminder to do something today) or things that need to be transferred to somewhere more permanent (like a plan for a project would need to be transferred to a planner). Every day or so, you should process your memo pad. What that means is you are going to throw away the pages you’ve written things down in your notepad. Everything you need to keep for longer should be transferred to a more permanent place (planners, notebooks, apps, etc). Keeping your memo pad empty means it is easy to find the short-term, temporary things you are writing in it.

In the end, writing things down is a way to be more conscious and more active with information coming in, which is the key to remembering and using information well. So pick up a memo pad today and use it every day for a couple of weeks. Let me know what it does for you!

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