Productivity Tool: The Simple Yellow Notepad?

It was just a yellow, legal sized notepad, but it held the capability to make people more productive, less stressed and happier, at work and at home.  How?  

Here is the story:  

A CEO once gave each of his employees a yellow, legal sized notepad and a pen. He also gave them these instructions:

1. Carry the notepad and pen with you at all times during your workday. Keep it handy, and within reach.

2. In the morning write down a short "To Do" list in the notepad, list the things you want to accomplish that day.

3. During the day use the notepad to capture every name and phone number of anyone you talk to, write down email addresses, flight times and reservation numbers, meeting times and dates, record virtually every bit of important data into your yellow notepad.


This super simple process created a success habit among employees who later reported the following results... 

1. When they needed to call someone back, their number was a glance away.

2. What was that flight number again? What was that policy number the insurance agent gave you 3 days ago? What were the directions to the wedding? All of the details were always found in the single yellow notepad!

3. The pad also became the keeper of truth for to-do lists and served as a record for what had gotten accomplished or not accomplished during the day.  

In short, the yellow notepad became their rolodex (showing my age here), meeting planner, task list and more... all in one place.  Remember how you used to jot down that information on little bits of paper? Remember how you could never find that one piece of paper with the phone number you needed?

A while back, I personally started the process of carrying a single notebook with a color and design that I love and I also learned the "Bullet Method" for recording my notes in that notebook throughout the day.  

There's a great video at http://bulletjournal.com/ that describes the method.  

While the electronic tools that I use with my team keep us on the same page, I still find that there's something powerful in holding paper in my hands and physically lining through items that have been complete.

You might be surprised that sometimes the simplest tools can be remarkably impactful on your behavior.