Your Notes App — How to Better Capture Your Lists

How do we capture those random thoughts of someone recommending a book a movie giving you a phone number and all of those little bits of information that come to us? Are you still using a million Post-it notes or creating a long to do list?

I like to share with my clients to better utilize their notes on their phone with broad categories so they can retrieve information. Things like Books, Grocery, Movies, Inspiration, Errands or Gifts. These are things that are not ready for action that I need to put in my calendar. They are simply a place where I can relieve my mind of information that is been given to me that I want to future act on.

Here are some of my favorite Notes:

  • BOOKS. These are the books I hear about from a friend, books I’ve been wanting to read or something I hear in social media as a must read. Sometimes these are the books I save to read for a vacation or a lazy weekend or a night time before bed read. I will sometimes note next to the book title the author or who recommended it to me. Sometimes I’ll put a word or two about why I want to read it such as fun, business or research. Either way I have the title for when I am ordering, downloading or perusing a bookstore for a certain book. If I have time I will take book titles and enter them directly into the search feature of my ebooks and click on the Sample button. This is a great feature as it earmarks the next books I want to read and gives me the first few chapters for free. I then buy the book when I have read up to the free section. If I haven’t made reading time a priority this week or the content hasn’t engaged me to read up to the end of the free section then I don’t purchase it.
  • GROCERY. Nothing is more frustrating than getting to the grocery store and leaving your list at home or not having a list with you at all. By having this list on your phone it is quick and easy to locate what you need and stay on your food budget by just picking up the things from your list. If you like you can have further subcategories under Grocery such as Produce, Dairy, Protein, Kids, Toiletries, Supplements, Coupons you have, etc.
  • MOVIES. These are the movies I hear about from a friend, movies I’ve been wanting to see or something I hear in social media as a must see. I sometimes subcategorize these into At theatre now, On video/Online, Romance, Comedy, or For kids. Like books I sometimes add a blurb about what it is about so when I choose a movie I know what to expect.
  • INSPIRATION. This may be a quote that inspired me or an idea that I an inspired to write about. That way I can quickly capture my creative ideas so I am better prepared when I sit down to write or reflect on content. This is also a great place to capture a gist of an article you may want to use latter without having to save the article. You could put down the author, topic or date in case you want to pull it up again for a future date.
  • ERRANDS. This is where I will capture all of the errands I need to do. I may get these from the top of my head or from content from a Mind Dump. See my Blog on Mind Dump to better utilize this tool. I will sometimes subcategorize my errands into different stores I need to go to and what I need from each store. This keeps you on task when you shop and makes sure you don’t forget “that one thing”. I then number the stops in order of priority or furthest to closet to my home. I delete the places and things I have already completed and save the note for future errands. I sometimes use the Errand note like the Grocery note and put Subcategories of places I go frequently and add things to that list from the same store. When I have 3-5 things I need from that store and know it is close to where I am going that day I’ll stop in and grab my items.
  • GIFTS. This is where I capture my Birthday lists, Christmas list, and Anniversary list. I also list the people I like to buy for under these categories. That way when I have a gift idea or see something I think someone will like I can add it to my list. Better yet when these people mention things they like such as a restaurant, a color, a place or a thing I have their preferences so I don’t feel rushed to think of what to get when it’s time to buy a gift.

The options are endless when it comes to want you like to keep lists of. The beauty of this system is your phone is always with you and your list is at your fingertips. Your can quickly be found by a search of the name of your list so make sure you name your list in a simple way you will remember it. No more searching for a bunch of little Post It’s or pieces of paper or notes you wrote on a napkin!

Yours from Clutter to Calm,