What do Richard Branson, Bill Gates and George Lucas have in common? They achieved success in their fields and they never part with their notes. They stress it themselves that the habit of writing down their ideas and inspirations is the reason behind their accomplishments.

The art of note taking is a habit for people who achieve the greatest successes in the world. Richard Branson, the British businessman and founder of Virgin Group, thinks that everyone should take notes, and that’s why he always has his favourite notebook at hand. He often states that note taking is one of his most important habits. The founder of Microsoft – Bill Gates – writes down all the important information on characteristic yellow sticky notes. Meanwhile the director of Star Wars always carries a pocket notebook to jot down ideas, thoughts and plot threads as they come.


It’s not only contemporary high achievers who benefit from notes. The inventor and man who discovered electricity, Thomas Edison, also tended to write down his thoughts and ideas. During the great patent race, every thought was worth its weight in gold. Throughout his life, Edison wrote over 5 million pages of notes. He developed a pattern which made sure that all useful or important information would end up written down. He called his notes memory assistants.

Why is taking notes so important?

Notes are an important thing on the road to success in business and life. They can help you improve your ways of listening and learning. Note taking can also help in memorising the key points of a meeting or training course and clarify them. During a lecture or conference, notes will let you focus on the presented material and draw the most important parts from it.

How many times did you happen to come up with an idea while travelling or during breakfast? Thanks to the habit of writing down your thoughts, reflections and quotes, no fantastic idea will ever vanish without trace again. The habit can be developed by making use of one of the many tried and tested methods of successful note taking. The form of your notes depends only on yourself.

You can also read about the five principles of quick note taking on our blog 5 things that help with fast note-taking

If you’re a fan of books and wish to draw as much as possible from them, check how you can effectively take notes from books How to make notes from books? Learn the 3 best practices

Note taking is the key to effective project and task management. Make a habit of it and you’ll be taking better decisions, you’ll resolve problems more quickly, you’ll become more creative and you’ll also increase your productivity. Taking notes in everyday life requires a lot of discipline, but once you find the appropriate system for yourself, the benefits will be tremendous. Start taking notes today, and you’ll thank yourself for it later.