I'm a compulsive note-taker, and I used to feel self-conscious about pulling out my little notebook and taking notes during a casual conversation.
Then I noticed that people really seemed to enjoy it; the fact that I was taking notes made their remarks seem particularly insightful or valuable.
I find that taking notes helps me reach better decisions. Notes help me organize my thoughts, and they are particularly important when I’m trying to make (or sell) a decision with others.
When making decisions with someone else, my notes help me to present my ideas better and to develop a better understanding of their ideas.
While I find that any notes are better than no notes, I recommend structuring your notes.
It may seem like a waste of time, but start by “stating the obvious”. Why are you making a decision? What’s the challenge that you’re trying to address? Is it an opportunity or is it a problem?
What benefits to you hope to gain by making a decision? What’s the down-side if you don’t decide?
Here’s an example:
Should we buy a condo in El Paso?
Why would we do this?
To reduce our housing expenses.
How much would expenses be reduced?
Current housing cost
Projected housing cost
To be closer to family.
To reduce maintenance.
How would maintenance be reduced?
Why would we not do this?
We’d miss many of the things that we like to do in Santa Fe.
What things would we miss?
What alternate things are there to do in El Paso?