In my personal and creative life I’m a compulsive note taker, which has always amused me since I wasn’t like that in school at all. In school – and especially in college – I understood something I’ve had to relearn since. Here it is:
The value of notes is in having written them, not reading them later.
Don’t believe me? How about this:
“Just think about it. Deeply. Then forget it. And an idea will jump up in your face.” – Don Draper
Writing something down forces you to think about it more deeply, so it’s really an unnecessary step, but a useful one. These are the same ideas.
The next time you find yourself spending too much time on your notes, as I once did, stop. You got most of the benefit when you wrote them down. Instead, keep thinking, keep learning, keep seeking out new sources of knowledge and ideas. They will synthesize into something brilliant in your mind, even if it takes weeks, months, or even decades to bear fruit.