3 min read

The Backbone of Productivity + More Digital Spring Cleaning

Welcome to the Boldly Productive Newsletter!

This week is all about getting thoughts and ideas out of your head and down onto physical or digital paper!

I share an overview of the next principle in FIRST, Record, my recent spring cleaning of my notes app, Obsidian, and some videos from others on how they take notes.

As always, feedback is always welcome!

Record: The Backbone of Productivity

"The mind is for having ideas, not holding them."

– David Allen

How often do you have a brilliant idea come to mind, and you think, "This is such a brilliant idea! There's no way I'll forget it!", but before you've even finished that thought, your world changing idea is gone?

Happens to me all the time.

While the human mind is an amazing thing beyond understanding, it's not a perfect machine. Ideas and thoughts can fly out of it as fast they fly in.

So how do you make sure you don't lose your ideas? You write them down!

Sounds simple enough, but it can be challenging. You may struggle with getting your thoughts down on paper. I know I have difficulty with this sometimes.

The best advice I can give you is this: write it down anyway.

What you write doesn't have to be a perfect transcription of the thoughts within your head. The important thing is getting them written down in a tangible form. You'll then have them to develop later.

You may wonder why this principle is "Record" instead of "Write". It's because Record means much more than writing. It encompasses the following:

  • Capturing ideas
  • Remembering ideas
  • Developing ideas
  • Visualizing data
  • Analyzing data

Digital Spring Cleaning Part 2: Obsidian

Last week I talked about the clean up I did in my task manager, Things 3. This week I'm tackling my main notes app, Obsidian.

Along with taking notes, I've been writing all my website content inside of Obsidian. I was thinking about creating a separate vault for my website content so as not to clutter things up, but decided against it. I wanted to be able to link ideas to the content I've created, so I instead made a folder to put it all in. This is enough of a separation between my regular notes and my content to satisfy my OCD brain.

I thought it'd be nice to have a fun name for my vault, so I renamed it to be called "Thotful Spot" after the place Winnie the Pooh goes to think. Since my Obsidian vault is a place I go to think about ideas, it seemed a fittingly whimsical name.

I've found the way I've been taking notes hasn't been at all effective for me. I often copy passages from books or articles I want to remember, but copying them verbatim doesn't allow the ideas to stick. I also don't have a great way of reviewing my notes, so my process has been "copy, paste, forget."

A guy I follow on Twitter, King Chan, released a guide this past week for building a popular personal knowledge management system called a Zettelkasten into Obsidian. I read through the guide and liked how simple it was to make connections between ideas. I moved all my existing notes into a folder called "to sort" and have been slowly moving them over into my new Zettelkasten system. I felt it was best to start over from scratch rather than trying to shoehorn everything in all at once.

Read / Watch List:

Notes and ideas from others to explore

Video: How I Take Notes: the Best Note Taking Method | Jim Kwik
A description of note taking versus note making and how they work together to help retain information and learn.

Video: I tried writing morning pages for 30 days
A process for relieving your mind of distracting thoughts through stream of consciousness writing.

Enjoyed this newsletter? Please forward to a friend, or send them this share friendly link:


Was this newsletter forwarded to you? Get your own copy each week by subscribing here!