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NOTABLE! Can a $2 tool help make you a millionaire?

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Vigilante

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One of the smartest guys I know is the owner of a distribution company in Los Angeles, California.

20 years ago, he gave me a $2 discipline I still use daily. The discipline survives technology changes, strategy changes, and location changes. It survives business wins, and epic losses. It is a crutch, but a self created crutch.

The discipline? A legal pad.

He keeps one. He lives in the 2 block radius of Beverly Hills that every Californian is aware of, but most can't afford.

There are two critical tasks for the legal pad.

Task #1
  • When he meets with someone, he has his legal pad handy.
  • He takes notes
  • When I was in pre-law, they taught me to take notes with a legal pad. Split the page by drawing a line down the first 1/3 of the page. Use the right 2/3 of the page to take notes (on whom ever is speaking) and use the left 1/3 column you made to write your questions so you can address them when the speaker is finished speaking.
  • Even if you don't want the notes for later (you might...) the discipline of taking notes helps you concentrate on the speaker, and/or helps you appear to the speaker as if you are concentrating on the speaker

Task #2
  • Every day, he uses a fresh sheet of paper as the "to do" list for that day
  • We all have many things thrown at us throughout the day... put them on the "to do" list
  • Put your milestone goals on the list
  • Put your "shit I have to do today" things on the list
  • Cross things off the list that you get done
  • Carry over things to the next day's clean sheet that have to stay on the list

By the way, if someone comes in for an interview, or for a business meeting, and they don't have something to write with and something to write on, he assumes (maybe correctly) that they are not organized. This quick value judgment may or may not be fair, but perception is reality when he is the deciding factor in his sandbox.

After reading James Altucher's book Choose Yourself and his AMA thread on the forum, you probably have more need for a legal pad than just the above two things.

This strategy works for a multimillionaire who runs a hugely successful enterprise. It has kept me organized for the past many years. It might work for you.
 

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tormat

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I know for some, just the act of writing done notes help you to remeber them later (even if you don't use the notes or read them ever again).

I am not a big note taker myself, but this sounds like a decent thing to try. I use a white board for my task lists and such, but paper will be something iof a renewal :p
 

CommonCents

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I use notepads as well to write down ideas, take notes, tasks as well but then put them into online calendar and task tabs. The unscheduled tasks always roll over and are up to date so I don't have to rewrite them. Digi calendars can be synced to be wherever you are at the moment, mobile, home, office.

I'm sure tablets with good digital pens and handwriting recognition will be pretty handy in the near future to simplify the process. I have a samsung note2 with a built in digital pen that does quite well for writing/scheduling now.

Without simple lists I get unorganized and unproductive in a hurry, and waste my little brain power just remembering what the EFF I'm supposed to be doing. ;)


Edit: I also send emails to myself with various notes to be calendared or logged later, easy to copy/paste. As well as using Box or google docs, its easy to copy anything over to those and have a nice running time/date stamped conversation with yourself logging your notes :) To make it easier you could just scan or take a picture of your physical note page too w/out having to type them in.

If it isn't really a simple process for me I won't do it.
 
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Vigilante

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PopEmersen

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By the way, if someone comes in for an interview, or for a business meeting, and they don't have something to write with and something to write on, he assumes (maybe correctly) that they are not organized. This quick value judgment may or may not be fair, but perception is reality when he is the deciding factor in his sandbox.
Was taught this lesson last week. I never bring anything to write with or on to any interviews, I usually remember what's said at the interview. Last week I had 2 interviews for a position and since I did not bring anything to either of the interviews, they went with someone else. I learned something that day.

What's funny is, whenever I go see a property for my RE business, I NEVER forget my yellow legal pad. Guess I need it for corp america too.
 

1PercentStreet

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Writing outside the lines, you rebel you, I love it.


I carry a legal pad everywhere I go, I was told before that to just use Word but I just love the feeling of writing down. I feel more involved and it helps me focus.
 

wealthyliving

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My legal pad is free!

It's called Notepad, and it's on my iPhone ;)

-Grace
 

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AndrewNC

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My legal pad is free!

It's called Notepad, and it's on my iPhone

-Grace
Going back to what Vigilante said about perception. If I were in a meeting and someone used their phone for that, I would automatically assume that they were texting/browsing their email. But for general ideas that I need to remember... I do the same thing :)
 

Omerta

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Speed Rep. I already take notes from this forum. :) But it's a very good idea to take notes when you network with successful people. Will do it.
 

arcola

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Wunderlist is wayyyyy better!


And as for perception, how bout " just so you know I take notes on my iPhone/ipad"

its not just twice as good, or 5 times as good, compared to paper and pencil, the utility from an app like wunderlist is like 100x better.

its tech!
 

MJ DeMarco

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SBS.95

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Wunderlist is wayyyyy better!
For to-do lists, I agree that Wunderlist is much better. It's free, simple, transfers your day-to-day tasks, and syncs between your phone and PC. But I would argue that the bread and butter of this advice is the "Task #1".

Writing notes in a legal pad helps you think more about what it is you are trying to jot down, at least for me anyway. Plus you can take the legal pad anywhere and write things down. I can't take my computer with me, and I sure as hell can write a lot faster than I can use a phone keyboard.

This is truly great advice, as simple as it may seem.
 

tamo42

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It's good however the old fashioned way is just as good, and perhaps better. Studies show that actual writing (vs typing) is better for memory and retention.



http://lifehacker.com/5738093/why-you-learn-more-effectively-by-writing-than-typing
It actually goes beyond that. Writing stimulates all three of the common learning modalities of visual (seeing), auditory (hearing), and haptic (doing). So you will learn the information no matter what your learning style is.

/teacher

Fun story about learning styles: I once had a girl raise her SAT scores by over 250 points in a week by teaching her to subvocalize the question in her head in her mental voice.
 

mentalic

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I have been using a small notebook (instead of a legal pad) since day one. Very productive. I cannot think how someone could do without it. The whole point today is the amount of information you can process. And since you can put that kind of information on a piece of paper, you can take a lot of stuff out of your brain, and get back to them WHEN you need to. It is very important not to having to think 'I have to do this and that, what was I thinking yesterday etc...'. Just put everything in a piece of paper, and get back to that when you have to.

When executing a task, the feeling of crossing it out is very good :) Also, it feels very good when you brainstorm ideas (I keep the back pages of my notebook for that).

For all those freelancer professionals etc, your clients will love you when you keep notes about what they say. Professionals love other professionals that keep notes. They probably will trust you a little more. Also, by writing stuff on paper, you are constantly validating what the other person is telling you, and everything becomes more clear.

A small note about iPhone apps, etc. They are great, if you want to keep 1-2 tasks/day. However, if you write 10+tasks a day, with some description about each one, I don't know if that is productive. Also, a notebook/legal pad gives you the flexibility to organize stuff the way you exactly like it.
 

biophase

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For all of you that takes notes on:
notepad
wunderlist
evernote
notes
etc...

Here is why I think using an actual legal pad is better. First, the legal pad, if done right sits on your desk and the tasks are staring at you all day. The goal is to cross out everything on the page and throw that page away at the end of the day.

If you don't finish a task, you are forced to rewrite it onto another page. This gets old if you write the same task 3-4x in a row.

You can physically tear off a sheet and crumple it and toss it into a garbage can.

I've tried the notepad, wunderlist, evernote, etc... The problem with these is that they are so evolved that you end up with tons of to do lists. You really only need 1 to do list. You don't need a bunch that are segmented by folders, task type, etc. Many times I miss things I have to do because I didn't see it on the list.

Unless you have it on your desktop and not minimized, you don't see your tasks.
Once your list starts getting old, you gloss over a task because you see it over and over again. You just begin to ignore it. This is where rewriting it daily helps.
The act of deleting a task does not feel as good as crossing it out.
The act of tossing away a page of completed to do's feels real good.

The biggest con is that if you forget your pad, it's not on the web for you to retrieve when you are out.
 

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LightHouse

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Funny I have and use wunderlist, but i actually write all notes and to-dos on a yellow legal pad, which is on a clipboard on my desk.

Every morning i look at the written notes and put the todos in wunderlist. This way the to-do's are re-written and clear, and i can move through them in digital form.

All the notes from the notepad typically end up in digital form or shredded. They first though get written down, which is much more intuitive. If it's info I need to keep, it either goes in contacts, or evernote. The Legal pad is always the point of entry and being on a clipboard and yellow, its always the most noticeable thing on my desk and its mobile.
 

Bigguns50

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I love using a legal pad. I use yellow. I read somewhere that the color yellow helps the thinking process. Don't know if it really does, but I like it.
I also use Evernote a lot. But there is just something about writing that I feel is better in ways than typing.
 

liquidglass

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Speed + to Vigilante for this thread, thanks for such great points.

It reminds me of something I was reading about a facebook conference in silicone valley. Zuckerburg was speaking of course and the reporter noted that the ONLY two people in the room that were taking notes were also the only two people in the room worth more than Zuckerburg.

I am completely with Vigilante, always have something to write with and write on, always.

I keep two legal pads in my bag every day, one for notes when talking and listening the other for getting things done

I do take notes on my ipad at group meetings with my employees when I'm not speaking. I can always point out which ones are doing well or will do well by who takes notes.

I also have notebooks literally everywhere. I have a small 3x2 notepad in my cars center console, a notebook by my favorite reading chair, one in my nightstand, and I carry my favorite notebook and pen wherever I go. Even if it's just out to dinner or shopping with the wife. You never know when a good idea will hit you like a semi. Funny enough my carry around notebook has on it's title page "My Million Dollar Notebook" I put everything down I think of at any time of day, if I'm driving I use the voice recorder on my phone and make a quick note that I listen to and jot down later.

If you want to be a Millionaire or a Billionaire then take notes! (then act on them!)
 

tamo42

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I love using a legal pad. I use yellow. I read somewhere that the color yellow helps the thinking process. Don't know if it really does, but I like it.
I also use Evernote a lot. But there is just something about writing that I feel is better in ways than typing.
The frequency response of the human eye peaks around yellow/green. So the yellow background of a legal pad or the green background of engineering paper makes more of an impact on the eye than other colors.
 

Tom.V

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My spiral bound notebook contains notes, revelations, idea outlines, to-do lists, client specification lists, and just brainstorming outlines. It is most likely one of my most important tools. I take it everywhere I go just because I might need it.
 

Aututto

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I was gifted a quality hard bound leather notepad holder. It's great; holds two pens, few business cards, and a slip on one side for other things.

Sorry but my arguments for notepads still being the best are these:

1. When do we learn the most? In elementary school. Now answer this, did you learn your primary language through writing or typing?

2. I can write all over a notepad. Make indentions, bullets, symbols, pictures (I guess if necessary) and so on. All much faster than I can do on some tablet or phone.

3. You won't have to worry about your notepad having a dead battery :)
 

arcola

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I was gifted a quality hard bound leather notepad holder. It's great; holds two pens, few business cards, and a slip on one side for other things.

Sorry but my arguments for notepads still being the best are these:

1. When do we learn the most? In elementary school. Now answer this, did you learn your primary language through writing or typing?

2. I can write all over a notepad. Make indentions, bullets, symbols, pictures (I guess if necessary) and so on. All much faster than I can do on some tablet or phone.

3. You won't have to worry about your notepad having a dead battery :)

1. That doesn't matter. Language was learned verbally originally. With your logic, verbal is actually the best todo list medium.

2. Debatable, I found the opposite true. You can do bulletpoints, subtasks within a task, actual pictures, search, index, everything.

3. Get a car charger.

Why are things like Wunderlist & Evernote the best note/todo mediums? Lets look at the greatest notetakers of all time

1. Napoleon Bonaparte.

Napoleon Bonaparte would actually take enormous sums of notes and organize them via colored tabs, in huge file cabinents. For campaings he would lay all these notes out on the floor, organized, and flow through the campaign.

2. Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick was probably the most prodigious and organized notetaker ever. He followed the same method as Napoleon.

The key thing about these two? Organization

Organization is more important than the feeling a pencil on paper gives you, its more important than kinesology of throwing papers away.

Organizing notes is actually everything. Your notes are like the internet, over time, without google. You have to waste your precious life flipping page after page

Wunderlist or Evernote is like google for your notes. It makes all this data useful, INSTANTLY!

Make no mistake, organization is an extremely highlevel skill. The more organized entrepreneur wins! Go buy an iPhone 5 and download wunderlist and evertnote today! and then download them on your computer,

its syncs across all platforms!
 

Aututto

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1. That doesn't matter. Language was learned verbally originally. With your logic, verbal is actually the best todo list medium.

2. Debatable, I found the opposite true. You can do bulletpoints, subtasks within a task, actual pictures, search, index, everything.

3. Get a car charger.

Why are things like Wunderlist & Evernote the best note/todo mediums? Lets look at the greatest notetakers of all time

1. Napoleon Bonaparte.

Napoleon Bonaparte would actually take enormous sums of notes and organize them via colored tabs, in huge file cabinents. For campaings he would lay all these notes out on the floor, organized, and flow through the campaign.

2. Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick was probably the most prodigious and organized notetaker ever. He followed the same method as Napoleon.

The key thing about these two? Organization

Organization is more important than the feeling a pencil on paper gives you, its more important than kinesology of throwing papers away.

Organizing notes is actually everything. Your notes are like the internet, over time, without google. You have to waste your precious life flipping page after page

Wunderlist or Evernote is like google for your notes. It makes all this data useful, INSTANTLY!

Make no mistake, organization is an extremely highlevel skill. The more organized entrepreneur wins! Go buy an iPhone 5 and download wunderlist and evertnote today! and then download them on your computer,

its syncs across all platforms!
Haha okay;

1. Writing is part of the learning process. If it wasn't for you then I feel bad. Most if not all, were writing before typing giving its prominence. Regardless, you are flawed in what you say because this thread is about using something physical for organization, not something mental. So no I was not supporting verbal; I'm staying on topic here.

2. You're still limited to what you do. Also, I can guarantee your notes can always be taken much faster on a notepad. Time is money.

3. Notepad will always be more reliable. Many more things can go wrong with electronics. While they are reliable by today's standards, you're still limited.

Now I'm not saying this wunderpad is dumb by any means. If its better for you then by all means use it. For some it may truly be the best.

However it by no means has put out a simple pen and paper. Not even close.
 

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