14 Mar Why Writing Everything Down Will Make Your Life Easier
Write Everything down and get everything in writing.
I joke with my clients regularly, “Make sure you write that down now,” but it’s the kind of joke where I’m completely serious. I just have to laugh it off a little as I say it, so I don’t come across like their parents, especially because I’m younger than them in most cases.
There’s something to be said for keeping an accurate calendar, taking good notes, and being able to track things because of it. Here are a few reasons to write everything down and get everything in writing.
Write everything down and get everything in writing so you don’t forget it. Seems like a no brainer, huh? I can remember sitting in meetings not taking a single note because it was easy stuff, I’m smart, and I’ll be able to remember all of this. Then I’d get back to my desk and realize my mind wandered off to lunch before the meeting was done, and I have no clue about half of what was said.
One of my bosses at my first design job used to say, “I don’t trust anybody that comes to a meeting and doesn’t take notes.” He began a daily romance with a pen and pad that continues to this day and only grows stronger.
Write everything down and get everything in writing so you can look back and see how far you’ve come. Since my days at that job, I’ve adapted to carrying around a Moleskine journal. In September 2015, I had the pleasure of attending Circles Conference, and it was there that I decided I’d write down a bunch of my life goals in a big list, followed by more structured lists like annually, monthly, etc. that’d help me execute.
It’s been a little over a year, and I’ve already crossed 3 things off my life goals. Now, 2016 was a crazy awesome year for me, but if I wouldn’t have written all that stuff down, I might not know just how awesome it really was!
Write everything down and get everything in writing so you can begin making predictions rather than just guesses. This one’s huge for me in business. I track every lead online, but once I have a warm lead, I put them in my notebook. I have a simple follow up process, and I can look back and see how many convert, so I know how many people I need to be chasing down in order to maintain profitability.
This helps you in planning work schedules as well as things like vacations and doctors’ visits. If you know what you’ve got coming up, or you can make an educated guess, you’re less likely to shoot yourself in the foot for taking that time off.
Write everything down and get everything in writing so you don’t make frivolous mistakes. This one’s huge for me because I have a bad memory. When working with a client on any design project, there’s inevitably some back and forth. As we go back and forth, they make suggestions, edits, etc., and if I don’t write them down or get them in writing, I’m dead. I’ve earned quite a bit of trust from my clients by listening carefully and avoiding making mistakes.
Often, a client will email or text the feedback in bullet format. That’s perfect. However, sometimes they’ll call me to chat about it. In which case, I bust out my aforementioned Moleskine, and I get to jotting. Finally, sometimes they’ll call when I’m driving, or I’m in the grocery store or somewhere that doesn’t allow me to take good notes while I’m on the call. When this happens, I’ll explain what’s going on and ask them to email/text me the edits. 95% of the time they do. Whether I write it or they do, whether it’s in a notebook or a text, at least it’s written down somewhere!
This last one is probably the biggest one, and it’s also opening a whole other can of worms. Write everything down and get everything in writing so you have something to fall back on when somebody gets upset. This could be as simple as agreeing on deliverables or as complex as milestones on a project or contract-based stuff. This could be its own blog entirely, but the point remains. If there’s a chance that somebody could get bent out of shape because this information is missed, it’s probably worth writing down.
Having stuff written down will give you confidence when you get on the phone with a client. If you’re like me, you might not remember all the details, and you may find yourself tripping over your tongue. If you’ve got it written down, boom, you’re set!
Unless you’re like me and you have 6 different journals. Then you’re back to square one. Although you’ve written it down… somewhere… now you have to find it. Even with just one journal, it can be a nightmare to find what’s going on, and that’s why I Bullet Journal.
But more on that in another blog. Baby steps for now – just write stuff down!!