Staples recently ran an ad touting that they were “bringing back the fine art of notetaking and launching an entire new collection.” Since when did notetaking go out of style?! I’m probably in the minority, but I have never stopped taking notes or using notebooks of all shapes and sizes.

Harvard Business Review just published an article that confirmed what I have known all along: taking notes in longhand has many advantages.

Maggy McGloin of HBR writes: “Research shows that when you only use a laptop to take notes, you don’t absorb new materials as well, largely because typing notes encourages verbatim, mindless transcription…And while there are plenty of ways to work smarter with digital tools, you may remember more if you leave the laptop or tablet at your desk and try bringing a notebook and pen instead.”

It may be old school, but I know of no better way to remember things, organize ideas or keep track of details than a trusty notebook. Watch for those Back-to-School displays to start popping up and stock up on your own collection for a bargain.


I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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