Fascinating story from Drew Hansen from Forbes about something too often overlooked, especially in today’s tech savvy world… the pocket sized notebook… and how useful they are to some pretty successful people. People like Thomas Jefferson, Aristotle Onassis, George S. Patton, Richard Branson, George Lucas and Eminem… to name but a few. A complete list of 20 such men was assembled back in September 2010, and shows plainly that carrying a notebook is no new thing.
It seems these, and countless other less famous people, carry that perfectly sized notebook and a pen to jot down ideas, interesting things they hear or see during the day. The idea of carrying a pocket sized notebook has become quite popular as more and more of us are seeing the benefits to taking up the habit.
As a writer I’ve long known the value of the notebook, have never warmed in any real way to the note taking features of my handheld devices. There’s something about the pad and pen… so simple and convenient… so easy to use. Lets you focus on the idea, not on getting it down.
There are lots of ways for non-writers to use a notebook. Consider:
- writing down tasks for a rainy day/slow time, create to-do lists, gift lists, party plans
- writing ideas that spring to mind through the day for business, personal, other issues
- writing words you typically mis-spell or don’t understand and learn the meaning
- capturing names/contact info for those you meet who you want to contact later
- capturing happenings of the moment to be expanded on as a more permanent record
- summarizing what you read/learn/come across as part of your job
If you don’t write things down, Onassis believed, you’ll likely forget them; but once written you’ll be more likely to act upon what’s on paper. There is something to committing words to paper that makes an indefinable difference. This isn’t something they’d teach you in business school, but it is a most valuable tactic, as you can see by the number of successful people who have the habit.
Once you start using a notebook, it’ll be hard to remember what it was like to do without it. To make the most out of your own notebook, here are five smart tips…
- use your own system and shorthand, and use it consistently
- write down a thought right away, don’t wait. This ensures you capture good ideas, and opens you up to all the thoughts that come after it. Don’t judge, just write… you can assess things later.
- add further to your thoughts later on, find a quiet time to explore those initial thoughts in more detail.
- store filled notebooks for future reference – you never know when you’ll need something to jog a memory.
- look at your archive regularly for patterns or associations. Sometimes an old idea is the springboard for a new inspiration.
When it comes to choosing the perfect notebook, there are lots of styles in the handy pocket size, all with lots of room to tastefully display your business name and logo. Look for features like a strong, sturdy cover… spiral binding for easy flipping… and plenty of sheets of paper for all those notes. Size matters… choose something small enough to be portable, but not so tiny you can’t comfortably write in it. By giving imprinted notebooks as a gift to customers (prospective ones too) and employees, you’ll be displaying your business name and logo while also handing out a useful, sought after item that gets seen over and over again.
And might hold the next great idea.
The notebook’s faithful companion, the pen, is another enduring way to promote your business by giving a practical item that will get used day in, day out. The array of colors, styles and prices will amaze you — there truly is something for every need, every budget. And putting your company name on a quality pen is an affordable, constant reminder of your business that gets seen by so many pairs of eyes.
If you need help choosing a notebook or pen as a promotional gift, give us a call. Our staff of fully trained reps can help you sort through the offerings and find something that’s just right for you. Buying promotional products is an investment after all, and our reps will ensure you’re making a smart choice for your business.