77 and Counting: Taking Notes

Consider what a romantic expedition you are on; take notes.” – Anne Boyd

I think on the go… a lot.

I don’t know about you, but for me, this can be troublesome. I’m not always around a convenient method of note taking (lets not talk phones yet). Throughout college and even in the early days of the smart phone I relied on a little Moleskin note book and prided myself on finding cool, useful, leak free (very important), pocket size pens. I had my pen. I had my little note book. I could take notes where ever without the fear of losing my handwriting skills to that pocket computer that could occasionally make calls. There was just something so nostalgic, so raw, so socially acceptable, so real about taking out the pad of paper to write on. Then came the issues…

It was often hard to categorize my notes. The little note pads would only last a week or two. Sometimes I could lean against a wall and break my pen. Sometimes the pen would just walk away. The pens were all mail order and the pads were too. After a while I was forced to look for another option. Fortunately for me this right around the time that Android App Store (I’m a Droid user) starting filling with decent apps. I tried a few, betting on magic promises of little electronic wizards keeping and securing and saving all of my thoughts in a streamlined manner. In reality – they all stunk… until I found ColorNote.

I find that a good method of note taking is the key, scratch that, is critical to a clear and effective mind and a terrific tool for everyone who thinks, not just the entrepreneur. For me, my perfect note taking system is ColorNote (I’m not affiliated with them in any way – just so you know). It is a seriously simple note taking app where the beauty of it lies in the ability to color code your notes in up to 9 colors. I don’t even bother with the task list feature b/c I write tasks as notes anyway – that’s how it was with the pen and pad.

It is as easy as this:

  • Unlock the phone
  • Launch ColorNote (shortcut on home screen)
  • Select new note
  • Pick color (for me: yellow = general thoughts/quotes, blue = ideas, purple = Snapden related, black = secret project related and so on…)
  • Type type type in as little or as much detail as I want with the ability to put in a header/subject.
  • One button to exit when I’m done and it auto saves.

The beauty is in reviewing notes. I launch the program and instantly I can see all the colors and it helps me quickly visually search (good design!). If I can’t find what I’m looking for (has not happened yet) all of the notes are fully searchable. On top of that you can share notes with any application you have on your phone – sending to an email contacting, drop box, etc.

For me it’s nearly perfect. The only thing unavailable is backing up all of the notes or a batch download to my computer. This is a little scary b/c if something happens to the phone, the same happens to all my notes. Hopefully this will be fixed in future versions. Heck, I’d even pay for this if there was a cost.

To round it out, again I really recommend having a good note taking system. ColorNote is my choice since I’m such a visual person. IT may or may not work for you. If you find something cool out there – let me know, I’d love to give it a try.

Take care and happy note taking!
Brandon Larson

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