Do you have a creative mind but like structure, then you should seriously look at the Action Method Products. The design of the products lend themselves to both creative pursuits and keeping your notes organized. Over the past few years I’ve tried all the almost every combination they offer. At this point, I’m an expert on these products.
Want an expert’s view on how best to use the action method products so you don’t waste money and time – then read on!
I love my iPad but I still prefer to scribble on paper. I’ve tried to write on my iPad but I never was able to get the hang of it. I’ve always defaulted to paper and pen.
I never really worried much about what I wrote my notes on, since I felt it was just a “place” to make my notes. I store all my notes in Evernote so they are all digital and accessible anywhere.
However, since trying out the Action Method Products a few years back I’ve been using them ever since. They just work so well for my style of not taking.
Before I found the Action Method I used a Moleskine book. My system for taking notes was very similar to the layout on an Action Method sheet. I would make marks on the side of the notes to indicate if it was an action item or something to follow up. The Action method is just a little more elegant of a setup.
With the action method paper I have a specific a spot for notes and for action items. Even for back burner items.
The basic layout:
- 1 Capture Action steps, relentlessly.During a brainstorm/meeting or on the run, ideas can come and go unless they are captured as action steps.
- 2 Think beyond lines and boxes.The dot matrix on the front and back of each page serves as a subtle guide for your notations and sketches.
Here’s’ my breakdown of what I use.
Lets talk about size first:
- Letter Sized – If it’s a “big meeting” i.e. I need to take lots of notes, I’ve found that I really like letter sized paper. I take a lot of notes and I need that space to keep things organized. If you open up the book you have a full dot grid on the left side and the task list on the right side.
- Junior Sized– I find it a little too cramped for full note taking during a meeting. But it is handy to leave out on a desk for jotting down quick notes and to do’s. Also because of it’s size, I tend to take the Action Book Mini with me when I have a quick meeting with someone. It’s easy to carry this one around.
Letter Sized Options:
- Action Circa refills – I love the Levenger Circa refills since they it into my Arc notebook . This system is very flexible, I have my book divided with 2 sections. The first is the dot grid paper and the second is the action paper. This notebook allows me to transport additional documents such as meeting agendas in either the pocket on the front cover or in one the accessory pockets that they sell with the system. Sadly however Levenger is no longer making the action paper refills. They still do produce the dot grids so with a circa hole punch and some creativity you can still make this work.
- Action Pad – I have a Rhodia notepad holder with an action pad refill in it. What I like is this setup is very slim and fit’s nicely into my bag without taking up much space. One drawback was the Rhodia cover didn’t have much structure to it and I had to add a piece of cardboard behind the pad to give it a little more stiffness. I also didn’t care for the pen holder that was sewn on the side of the cover. It didn’t fit my pens. So I added one at the top of the notepad. It’s an elastic loop attached to a plastic square with an adhesive backing to make it stick. For pure note taking it’s a pretty good setup.
- Action Book – This is a wire bond book. This is similar to to the notepad Rhodia cover option except it’s in book form. It’s compact and easy to take notes in. Because it’s a bond book you can open it up and use both sides of the book. There is an immense amount of note taking space.
Junior Sized Options:
- Action book mini notebook – I leave this out on my desk and take quick notes or make doodles in this book. The size is good and doesn’t take up much room on my desk. I use the tasks section for writing down tasks that I need to do or capture to process later.
Other Cool Products:
- Action Cards – These are thick 3”x5” individual cards. I have a holder that stores them. Perfect for jotting down tasks.
- Action Runner – I use this for my Focus List. After doing my morning review I jot down my 3 projects Im going to focus to “move the chains” for the day.
- Action Cahier – This is truly the “you have no excuse to not have a notepad on you” notepad. This one lives in my bag.
- Action Pad Mini – I use this for capturing phone messages or when processing a lot of information such as emails. I also like this out my desk when Im project planning. After a session I can file this page into a project folder.
For me any of these products are just used for capturing notes, ideas and tasks. I review all my notes and process them into my system.
There are a lot of options I’m sure you will find something. Have a question about Action Method Products feel free to contact me on Twitter.