notebook with pen“You might want to write this down.”

It’s a phrase I use in various forms at many different points in a workshop.

It’s one of the tricky things about being a trainer – standing at the front of the room and suggesting “You might want to write this down…”. The responses vary.

One or two pick up their pen immediately, more shuffle some paper struggling to find a pen at all, many just look at me resentfully like “I’m not a child you know!”.

So do tell, which camp do you generally fall into?

Look, I know I’m standing in front of some very intelligent adults as I say this and I promise I’m not trying to patronise you – you really might want to write something down.

There’s science that shows we can remember stuff better if we take notes.

The jury is out on whether it is more effective to handwrite or to type but there’s no doubt, for most of us, taking notes is much better than not taking notes when it comes to both comprehension and recall.

There are many reasons for this.

The generational effect describes how information that we generate – in this case, the notes that we write – is much more powerfully encoded in our memories and more easily recalled than anything that we passively consume by listening or reading

It’s even been quantified in interview situations where people who take notes can remember 23% more nuggets of information about the candidates than interviewers who didn’t – even if the notes were never consulted – the fact that you made notes helps you to remember!

So the next time someone suggests “You might want to write this down” consider that they might just have your best interests at heart!


PS: If you’re looking for even more top tips to help you get stuff done, why not check out my new programme “Strategies for Getting Stuff Done“.

  • I put the best parts of 20 years experience into a two hour masterclass (I know you don’t have time to waste).
  • I edited the video into bite-sized chunks (I know you use all the little spaces between meetings to catch up!).
  • I added subtitles (because I know you sometimes watch helpful videos when you’re on the train or while the family are watching TV).

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Yes, I need to Get Stuff Done!