3 min read

The Productivity Sketchbook #14: Notes Don't Have to Be Pretty to Be Useful

The act of taking notes is not always pretty.

As a recovering perfectionist, this is something I used to struggle with (and still do at times).

Instead of capturing thoughts and ideas, I would worry far more about how my notes looked.

This would often lead to me becoming paralyzed and not taking notes at all. I lost many great ideas this way.

This year, I've chosen not to worry about how my notes look. I capture things as they come, in the way that makes sense at the time. I then at least have the ideas written down and polish them up later if I need or want to.

Messy notes I made for an article on syncing notes between Obsidian, GoodNotes, and a Bullet Journal
How to Link Notes Between Obsidian, GoodNotes, and a Bullet Journal
I have 3 different places where I capture notes: Obsidian, GoodNotes, and a Bullet Journal. Each has crucial features the others don’t, which makes it difficult to use just one. Obsidian gives me the ability to easily link notes and ideas together, and can display those links visually in a

I've learned to accept messy note taking. It's actually helped speed up the rate of improvement for my note taking skills. Not worrying about your drawing abilities is easier said than done. But letting go of perfectionism will only help you to improve faster.

So when you're taking notes this week, it's okay if your sentences or sketches aren't perfect. Get those ideas down and worry about the polish later.

I forgot to mention last week that I got a shout out in Nick Milo's Linking Your Thinking newsletter! He shared the Sketchnote I did on his ideas regarding taking notes versus making notes:

  • From small things come big things
    • Small, consistent efforts over time lead to big results

How to Draw

What to Draw

Here's what I came up with for last week's word, Consistency:

Images for the word "Consistency"

This week's word is:


Sketch out what pops into your mind and share it in the comments below. As always, I'll be sharing my answers in the next issue!