Write this down. Take note. Are you paying attention? Writing is a lost art. Let’s bring it back.
29. Write This Down.
Writing is an important life skill. It helps with memory, personal engagement, and even serves as an art form. Typing is also useful in an increasingly paperless society. But there’s something special about putting pen to paper.
My note-taking skills have developed with time and much practice. My journey started in church. One of my friends encouraged me to take notes of the sermon to actively engage with the message and save the lessons learned for future reference.
I think it’s scientific fact that most humans lose some ability over time to retain memory. So growing older (turning 30) doesn’t help that situation. Writing notes can help save the day.
Here are several important arenas and reasons for note-taking and handwriting:
- Thank You Notes: Long lost art, y’all. When you get a gift, receive help, or anything happens giving a reason for a “thank you,” get a card or pull out stationery and write a polite, grateful thank you note. Try to be efficient and timely on this as well.
- RSVPs: Do it. Respond. Millennials are the worst. RSVPs require a response—yes or no. None of this “maybe” business. Write or type your response in the appropriate way requested by the one inviting you. Be respectful and courteous. It’s called social etiquette.
- Meetings: Writing down thoughts beforehand can help you be best prepared for an agenda. Maximize the time by asking appropriate questions and writing down key points and taskers.
- Active Listening: An extension of the above section. This is about social settings. Engage with the people you converse with by actively listening. Take notes. Ask questions. Be sincerely interested.
- College: My note-taking repertoire grew leaps and bounds in college. And it saved my bacon! The information presented was often so important that taking thorough notes was the only way to pass (and hopefully ace) tests. I used several methods and media to imprint knowledge in my brain. Audio recorders, laptops, pen and paper, and a cool smartpen called Livescribe.
- Journaling: Jot down memories, prayer requests, hopes and dreams. Your future self could use the reminders of how you’ve grown over time. Even try Bible journaling! It’s a helpful way to hide God’s Word in your heart. Study methods and spiritual disciplines often include Bible journaling and meditation.
- Art & Handlettering: Handlettering is a blossoming art form. I love following fellow artists on Instagram. Here are a few of my favorites: @handletteredtruth, @handletteringco, & @biblesandcoffee.
- Prayer Requests: How good are you at remembering prayer requests? Do you typically record them on your phone or in a notebook? I need help remembering these important details. It’s a great way to keep up with a growing list. Also, it’s a way to reflect later on answered (or differently answered) prayers.
Do you still use pen and paper? What resources have you turned to for note-taking? Are there any special apps or media that help you today? Do you journal or blog?
Don’t let writing die on the vine. Keep writing alive. Practice, practice, practice.
Write this down.
5 thoughts on “Write This Down”
I use pen and paper every. single. day.
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You’re an inspiration. 👏🏼
You a speakin’ my language! 😀
Great points here, Michael. Thanks for sharing them.
I too began note-taking during Bible classes and wawzah, my high school friends couldn’t believe how fast and accurate my lecture notes – in say, history – were. This skill has served me well over time *ahem* speaking of landmark b’days.
Can’t tell you how many orders I landed as an outside sales rep because I wrote a thank you note to each and every person I met with, and for each order placed. Once a lovely client opened a desk drawer and showed me the stack I’d written her through the years. She was Head of Housekeeping at an upscale assisted living facility and believe me, the notes made her feel very appreciated in a job that was considered lowly.
Anyway – just writing (!) to encourage you to keep writing! Never know, might turn into a devotion or a novel one day. Surprises happen!
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😃👏🏼 Love this! Thank you for sharing and for the encouragement. What a great example of writing paying off! I’m looking forward to potential future surprises.