I’ve been keeping notecards for quiet some time – I think I started in late middle school, I would want to remember to do or research something something and therefore, I would write it on my hand. So many agenda/calendars/notebooks had been lost that I didn’t trust myself to have anything but my hand on me. Then I discovered that I could use 3×5 notecards and keep in my pocket. And like my hand, I could re-write as often as needed with a new card. Also, it allowed me to keep longer lists, so I switched and have never regretted the habit. They make for excellent bookmarks, drawing tools and portable memory sticks. Plus you can play games on them and use them creatively to solve certain mechanical problems that arise.
In college, I began keeping a weekly and daily schedule on notecards with me at all times. Someday I want to go through those and catalogue how I spent my time as a reference to the person I actually was: my values and priorities.
In recent months though, I’ve been using them exclusively to capture things to do and to research. Every couple of weeks/months I catalogue and consolidate my notecards. I try to push the call to actions that I ultimately end up on notecards (and the thoughts like them) through a paradigm I learned from “Procrastinate on Purpose” by Rory Vaden.
- Ignore the call to action/task (and forget about it)
- Eliminate the call to action (and forget about it)
- Automate the call to action (and check up on it, by putting it on a notecard)
- Delegate the call to action (and forget about it)
- Procrastinate the call to action (by putting on a notecard and thereby looping to the top and back through until a change in status)
- Concentrate on the call to action (and address it now!)
Going from top to bottom, you attempt to Ignore and then only if that fails, you attempt to Eliminate, and then only if that would be wrong, you attempt to Automate, and only if that fails, you attempt to Delegate, and only if that also fails, you Procrastinate, and only if all of those have proven unsuccessful, then you concentrate on the call to action and complete it.
So, I use notecards to capture initial thoughts that are a call to action, as well as a tool to preserve the looping call to actions. Here are the posts where I explore, catalogue, and consolidate notecards: