It may be better known as a loved (or loathed) romantic movie, but The Notebook is also a quiet achiever of the business domain, loved and used widely by office administrators and global leaders alike.

It’s hard to build a house without a blueprint, similarly, you’re more likely to successfully achieve your goals, when they are written down.

Science has proven that “seeing is believing” and that visualising your goals or tasks at the start of the day, is an effective practice for achieving them.  Writing your goals down, signals to your brain “this is important.”  Your reticular activating system (RAS) then flags relevant opportunities and tools to achieve that goal.

Richard Branson has written and spoken often about Virgin’s “notebook culture” and below we look at 4 more reasons written notebooks remain popular in the digital age.

1. Take notes and action

Meetings play a big part in the average work day and you can’t be expected to retain it all via mental notes. Capture the information or actions discussed in meetings, to avoid important information leaving your head, before you’ve left the room.  Philanthropist and author Melinda Gates says “In meetings, I tend to take handwritten notes. I also keep lots of little to-do lists”.

2. Ideation, dream big

“Virgin very much has a notebook culture, with people always jotting ideas down, trying new things and not settling for the same old way,” Branson says. It’s amazing how ideas can be sparked by even the smallest comment or observation noted during your day. When inspiration calls, you’ve got to capture it”, wrote Branson, on a company blog post.

3. Stress release

Co-Founder of Big Red Group and entrepreneur Naomi Simson said in a SmartCompany article, “If ever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I make a list”.  Writing in your notebook or diary helps free up your mental bandwidth, it’s a bit like yoga for your brain. The act of putting pen to paper, is (cognitive) exercise for your brain that helps to slow down and soothe your brain.

4. A productive habit

Getting your thoughts down on paper, helps to focus and manage your busy schedule more productively. Redirect that mental energy and convert it into priorities, with associated deadlines for greater productivity.

Browse our range of books and pads, including customised notebook options and the Muru brand which directly gives back to Indigenous communities.

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