I don't know about you, but when I'm working, I'm NEVER more than a few feet from an open notebook. 

As a business owner, there are always tasks, ideas, and random thoughts popping into my head. The only way I stay on task is to have a place to write these things down so they can get out of my head without distracting me from my pre-planned day.

The problem is, I don't want to loose the valuable parts of what I'm writing down. Going the extra step and adding annotations to these "mind dumps" makes it SIGNIFICANTLY easier to come back to them later and move them into their next phases. 

Here are three simple annotations I use to make my notes work more efficiently:

  1. The exclamation point. This signifies an idea. Maybe it's a new blog post. Maybe it's a new project. Maybe it's a new way of organizing my calendar. Whatever exciting idea I'm having, I don't want to forget it, but I also don't want it to stop me from the productive day I've already planned out. I write an exclamation point next to the idea instead of a normal bullet point and that makes it much easier to come back to my notes from the day, quickly scan for ideas, and get them planned out. ANNNND it has the added bonus of making my notebook look a lot more exciting since it is now riddled with exclamation points! ;D
  2. The box. This signifies a task that I don't want to forget and need to get out of my head. At the end of the day I put these tasks into my online list of tasks so it can get prioritized with everything else.
  3. The question mark. You probably guessed it, but this signifies a question I have or something I'm curious about. 
  4. The standard bullet point. The only time I'm using a normal bullet point is when I'm writing down unactionable facts - example: meeting minutes. 

I'ld love to know if you have annotations that you use as well. Feel free to drop a line in the comments and tell me what efficiencies you make in your note taking!