Greg Morris

Designer, Pretend Photographer, Dad

Do I Even Want To Take Notes?

I’ve started and failed to make notes like I’m told to do by all the productivity content creators out there. It was first Roam Research, then Obsidian (more than once) and most recently Apple Notes. I could never quite put my finger on why because in the few weeks I do manage to keep it up, it really helps.

In the book Happy, Sexy, Millionaire Steven Bartlett discusses his colleague Sophie. She’s a serial gym starter, except she never gets there, she just endlessly talks about going and never goes. As Steven soon concludes, that’s because she doesn’t really want to go to the gym, she wants to be the type of person that goes to the gym. She likes the thought of being fit and healthy, but doesn’t actually want to put in the hard work.

Bringing this back to my serial note-taking thoughts. Do I actually want to take notes to help my creative flow? Or do I in fact just want to appear as the type of person that carries around a notebook. An example that people talk about when they discuss note-taking or people that journal. Is my ego the driving force here instead of my motivation to improve my life?

There’s an important distinction to make here. Because I am certainly not really motivated to ditch my smartphone, but my ego wants me to be the type of person that doesn’t have one. For it to be a personality trait that might make me a bit more interesting than I actually am. The motivation to do things is a strange and often mysterious thing to work out. One that strangely I have come to realise through journaling and being more aware of my thoughts and feelings.

There are numerous things that I want to do for one reason or another, but many that don’t stick around very long. Perseverance only goes so far, even when you are really motivated. The underlying root of those things remains important so as not to waste time or effort, but some things are worth the effort.

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