IMPORTANT ADVICE: there aren’t any affiliate marketing links, and I don’t receive anything at all from companies I mention in this article.
I’ve been a paperless guy for more than a decade.
Being paperless is something extraordinary, at least for me. It gives me the opportunity to have my second brain, my digital one, always with me, no matter where I am, no matter when I need to access it.
One of the best features and advantages you can take being paperless is the quick data entry. It means the way you insert any new entry into your system.
When I say entry, I mean all this:
- YouTube video
It’s an endless list.
When I say your system, I mean yourself. I don’t make any difference between my physical self (my body and mind), and my digital self (my second brain), because, fortunately, they’re both connected.
Here I will share the way I make my data entry process. I’ve recently moved all my software framework into Notion, that’s why I’ll explain two different approaches: the old one and the new one.
You will see that your software architecture doesn’t matter at all. You might not even use any software at all if you feel more comfortable using paper, a notebook, or whatever you prefer.
My opinion is that digital information is much better than non-digital, but we are all uniques, and the main point is about not losing anything interesting that comes to your mind.
As you may know, your mind is a crazy horse, full of connections, things that appear and disappear, some of them good, some other bad, and some really great.
You know those moments of inspiration are just that: a moment. You have to catch them and never let them go. No matter when it is or where you are. No matter if you’re in a meeting or on your own. The critical point is just not losing anything at all.
Here I will explain how to catch your ideas and process them to make the most of it.
My old system: Drafts
Firstly I’m sorry to say I’m an Apple geek, and this app is only developed for Apple devices. If you use Windows/Android, you can use Google Keep, for example.
What I like most about Drafts is that as soon as you opened it, a blank screen appears, and you can directly write on it your idea, your inspiration, something you cannot forget…
For me, it’s like a giant bucket that can eat anything you throw in it.
Twice a day, I process it and create the items I need in the software they should be.
Processing your entries every day is critical. Here I tell you 2 reasons:
- Your entry is still “fresh”. It is when you can take out the most of it. You can extend your thought. It’s when you will perform at your best. This will be real-time working. You won’t waste your time at all.
- You cannot have hundreds of entries to be processed. That’s a massive amount of work to do it in a single go. Procrastination will knock on your door, and you will leave it and forget it. Dangerous situation. Better try to process your entries twice a day. Your entry point should always be clean.
My new system: Notion
As I said before, recently, I moved almost all my systems to Notion, creating a unique technical architecture that perfectly fits all my needs. I’m really delighted with it.
I created a “Notes & Ideas” database. That allows me to create my new entries better. I have a field in that database to filter the type of entry I’m creating. I’m using all these:
- To do
- Online Platform
- Ideas for my Today’s businesses
- Ideas for my Future businesses
This database has relations to many other databases inside my Notion system:
- Knowledge database. A database with all my knowledge in any kind of topics and areas: productivity, time management, meditation, growth, business…
- Media database. A database that has all the media I’ve been in contact with: YouTube videos, podcasts, articles, books…
- Software-Skills-Services database. A database with all the systems or people I’ve been in contact with: influencers, suppliers, apps, software…
I will end up saying that my “Notes & Ideas” database has another very interesting field: “Purpose”. This field allows me to filter based on what I can use this entry for:
- Product Creation
- Content Creation
This field is great because if I’m preparing a post based on productivity, for example, I can make a quick search filtering by “Content Creation” (Notes & Ideas database) and “Productivity” (Knowledge database). The system gives me a result that makes it much easier to start working on that post.
A system like this, for me, has 2 crystal clear advantages:
- Productivity advantages.
- Security advantages.
1. Productivity advantages
Having a system like this one is life-changing when talking about productivity.
A 24/7 operative system
A system like this, always operative on a 24/7 basis, gives you the freedom to start working immediately.
Something pops into your head, and you just grab your phone and start typing. If you’re on your desktop, even easier because you can type faster.
Ideas come to your mind and disappear in milliseconds. You don’t know when that’s going to happen.
Ideas come up when you’re relaxed. For me, for example, having a shower is that moment. I can’t tell you how many times I had to stop and close the tap to come out and start typing. Many great ideas started at that point: business ideas, articles, things I couldn’t forget, new businesses…
When an idea emerges, that’s the moment to take care of it. You just wait 3 seconds, and it’s gone.
I’m always with my phone, my tablet, or my computer at a glance. Nothing can escape from my mind. Everything will be written down and processed later on.
This is productivity at the highest level because those seconds or minutes are real work.
Work means products, services, sales, things that will make you move forward to achieve your goals. They are always important things. Why else would you write them down?
The One and only entry point
Finally, having the one and only entry point is imperative, talking about productivity.
You don’t have your ideas spread all over the place.
Your brain knows perfectly what to do when something pop ups.
You create that habit, a routine that allows you to do things on auto-pilot.
Habits made consistently define yourself. You’re creating a huge database, effortless, that will create a better version of yourself. Be sure of that.
2. Security advantages
A system like this gives me a sensation of control and security that it’s worth it.
I know all my ideas will be quickly captured, but, at the same time, I know all of them are safe and sound.
It doesn’t matter if my phone becomes unusable or if my office catches on fire. I can even access my data just by having an Internet connection. I don’t even need my computer, tablet, or phone.
This security and control sensation will give you peace of mind, which also translates into higher performance.
When you’re relaxed, you can focus on the essential things, to get stuff done, because all your ideas are resting in a safe place, waiting for you to be used.