The Power of Organization: Taking Useful Notes and Making the Most of Your Time

Tara H

Hatched by Tara H

Dec 05, 2023

4 min read


The Power of Organization: Taking Useful Notes and Making the Most of Your Time


In this fast-paced world, where information overload is a constant struggle, the ability to organize and manage our time effectively has become more important than ever. In this article, we will explore two powerful techniques that can significantly enhance our productivity and efficiency: taking useful notes and making the most of our time. Drawing inspiration from the practices of renowned writer Robert Caro and productivity expert Scott H Young, we will uncover the commonalities between these methods and provide actionable advice for incorporating them into our daily lives.

Section 1: Taking Useful Notes

Robert Caro, a prolific writer and historian, emphasizes the importance of taking useful notes as a fundamental step before diving into any writing project. Caro's unique approach involves creating an outline wall, where he visually organizes his research materials and main ideas. By pinning documents, images, and notes around the outline, Caro gains a holistic understanding of the subject matter, allowing him to see the bigger picture before putting pen to paper.

This technique offers several benefits. Firstly, it facilitates a comprehensive analysis of the topic at hand, enabling a deeper understanding. By visually mapping out the main ideas and concepts, one can identify connections and patterns that may not be immediately apparent. Additionally, the process of physically arranging and categorizing research materials helps to internalize the information, making it easier to recall when needed.

Section 2: Making the Most of Your Time

Scott H Young, a well-known productivity expert, invites us to ponder how we would spend an extra two hours each day. He suggests that instead of filling this additional time with mundane tasks, we should focus on what truly matters to us. Young argues that by eliminating non-essential activities, such as excessive meetings or mindless scrolling through emails, we can reclaim our time and redirect it towards more meaningful pursuits.

The concept of time management is not new, but Young's approach highlights the importance of prioritization and conscious decision-making. By evaluating our daily routines and identifying time-consuming activities that do not align with our goals, we can make room for activities that truly bring value and fulfillment.

Section 3: The Common Thread: Organization and Efficiency

Upon closer examination, we find that both Caro's approach to note-taking and Young's perspective on time management share an underlying theme: organization and efficiency. Caro's outline wall method is a physical manifestation of organizing information, while Young's emphasis on eliminating non-essential activities reflects the desire for efficient use of time.

By combining these two techniques, we can create a powerful framework for optimizing our productivity. By taking useful notes and organizing our thoughts before diving into a task, we can approach it with clarity and purpose. Simultaneously, by consciously managing our time and eliminating activities that do not contribute to our goals, we can create space for meaningful endeavors.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Implement the outline wall technique: When embarking on a project, take inspiration from Robert Caro and create an outline wall. Use visual aids, such as sticky notes or a digital board, to map out the main ideas and gather relevant research materials. This approach will provide a comprehensive overview and enhance your understanding of the subject matter.
  • 2. Conduct a time audit: Follow Scott H Young's advice and evaluate how you spend your time. Identify activities that do not align with your goals or bring value to your life. Consider eliminating or minimizing these activities to make room for more meaningful pursuits.
  • 3. Prioritize and focus: Once you have organized your thoughts and optimized your time, prioritize tasks based on their importance and impact. Focus your energy on the most significant and high-value activities, ensuring that you make progress towards your goals.


The power of organization in both note-taking and time management cannot be overstated. By adopting Robert Caro's outline wall technique and Scott H Young's approach to time optimization, we can enhance our productivity and efficiency. By taking useful notes and visualizing our thoughts, we gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Simultaneously, by consciously managing our time and eliminating non-essential activities, we create space for meaningful pursuits. Incorporating these practices into our daily lives will undoubtedly lead to improved productivity, greater focus, and a sense of fulfillment. So, what are you waiting for? Start organizing and reclaim your time today!

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