Have you found “The Bigness of The Fellow Within”?

Written by jdoughty on . Posted in How To, Life Productivity


Having a notepad handy is no revelation.

Using it, however, is another matter. It has taken me months to get in the habit of regular note taking and I am still refining the skill.

Here are suggestions to help you tackle this habit and develop your internet marketing and writing skills.

Be patient as you develop, or redevelop the habit of frequently taking notes.
I often go a day or two without an entry, but I never miss a week of reviewing my freshest notes.

Capture every idea you can.
Not all ideas are good or need action, the process will help clarify your thoughts. And over time you will develop a “flow” to the process.

Always carry one with you.
Rarely am I without a notebook and my production shows it. I spend much less time trying to retain information and much more time problem solving or engaged in other productive tasks.

Check out Tim Ferriss’s post, How to Take Notes Like an Alpha-Geek …

Don’t compromise.
B.J. Palmer had made, back in the 1930’s, what today is considered a word processor today.

Here is a passage from the Prologue of B.J. Palmers book, “The Bigness of the Fellow Within” by By HERBERT C. HENDER, D.C., Dean, The Palmer School of Chiropractic.

I once asked B.J. how he wrote his lectures. His answer was characteristic. “We don’t write them, we build them.” I asked him to describe the process from time he began a lecture until finished, thinking that might be of interest and help others to duplicate his method.

Here is his description:
“We deliberate and mentally carve out our fundamental theme around which we desire to build the talk. It might be a new thought, or it could be a symposium of preceding ideas. We then mentally test it for logic and reason to see if it will stand up under the test of time. If it does, we go ahead. If it does not, we whip it until it does. Having given an idea birth, we then begin to shape our approach. Conception of a theme is the hardest part we have to go through.”

(Let me here interject a description of his typewriter which, like most other things this man works with, is radically different. Years ago, he became disgusted with constantly taking out and putting in ordinary sheets of paper, because it broke his continuity of thought when writing. He suggested to the Remington Company that they build him a special typewriter with a continuous roll of paper five hundred feet long, on a spool on top, automatically fed. He also asked for an electric automatic shift of the carriage, by pressing one key on the keyboard which, at the same time, would shift the paper so he could write by the yard on paper eighteen inches wide. I have seen a continuous writing twelve feet long, eighteen inches wide, single spaced, when he was writing. To his knowledge, this was the first electrically-operated typewriter built, and that was at least twenty years ago. He uses the “hunt and peck” system of two fingers and can type as fast or faster than many stenographers using ten fingers. This unusual and different typewriter is an object of curiosity to visitors and is usually demonstrated by the guide who conducts the daily noon tours through The B. J. Palmer Chiropractic Clinic.)

“We then write whatever comes, as it comes, be it good or bad. We keep writing as long as thoughts flow, and they always flow without effort. We may knock out some, much, or all of it later. Much of this may be out of sequence. We keep on until the present line of thinking is exhausted. Then we let it simmer and settle for an hour, hours, days, or weeks. Usually, when building a lecture, it is more or less steadily on our minds, and we are constantly harassed by Innate to keep on keeping on whipping it into shape. Usually, in a few days or a week or two, it is finished for the time being.

Building requires raw material, in this case mental energy or thought.

Here are some references to get you focussed in on developing your own creative process.

2 Note taking tips

1. Organize your notes into a system like a book. Leave a couple of pages blank at the front or back of the book to allow you space to create an index of the topics contained in your notebook.

2. Review your notebook on down time. Like waiting in line at the bank or on an attorney to show up for a lunch meeting. For those of you who say “you have no time”, find ways to maximize the moments you have.

4 Kinds of common note taking systems:

1. Cornell method
From lifehacker.com

2. Outline method
Classic method we all learned in grade school.

3. Mindmapping
Here are 99 mind mapping resources to expand your skills in this area.

4. Charting method

I like to call this one the spreadsheet method.

5. Sentence method
This method involves writing a new note on new line. This is a common starter note taking process, but it is difficult to manage large sums of information. This method requires more time to further go through and organize the information.

Or create your own method. I use all of the above in one form or another. I have also been using more pictures while taking notes. This has helped relay more information and has helped expand my creative brain.

Here is a picture of my various travel notebooks.

Some people have asked what I do when I am on the road and need a new notebook? I simply drop in to a store and look around for what works. Too often we place limitions on ourselves because we feel we need a certain kind of notebook or paper management product. I am attached to the prcess, not the product.

Creative minds do not seek permission and neither should you. Use these resources as a guide and take away what you find most useful.

How to take notes like Leonardo Devinci

Da Vinci’s notebooks show little scraps of writing all over the place. It’s clearly an unorganized, stream-of-consciousness process. He writes as he thinks; he doesn’t try and put everything into its correct, labeled place until he’s finished capturing and developing his ideas.

Tech tips:

Let me answer the question in advance before you ask it. What about using technology?
Start using Evernote to capture more ideas and information, if you have a smart phone. You can pick up a used iPhone, with or without phone service, but be certain the WiFi works. Some of the early iPhones had faulty WiFi receivers. Used or new they are great investments. After using one for a week you will wonder how you got along without it.

My favorite Free apps to use related to this topic:





You can allow your brain to free flow or you can make a conscious effort to control the flow and feed off the information you give it.

The brain uses ~20% of the bodies total energy, yet…

the average brain weighs 3 pounds and is about 3% of the bodies total mass.

Keep that in mind when you need to perform at your mental peak.

Drop your comments or questions below.

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  • http://twitter.com/HolisticBiz Alex Rinehart

    I used the Cornell Note-taking system while at New York Chiropractic College…VERY useful. I would just take 15 minutes each night for each class to review the notes. When I studied, I would memorize the ideas forward and backward. As I knew things by heart, my studying process was rewriting the note-sheets with the information I was having the hardest time with…by test time, I’d have only a page or two of notes on the ideas that were giving me the hardest time, and while everyone was camping in the library, I was relaxed and could spend time reading extra things like…the green books :) .

    • http://content4chiros.com Joseph Doughty

      The Cornell stuff rocks for the academic stuff. But lately I have been toying with more mind maps and tapping back into my creative side. As a kid I used to draw, paint, color and even took some art classes. I forgot how stimulating the artistic process could be.

      • http://twitter.com/HolisticBiz Alex Rinehart

        Great point, I use bubbl.us for mind-mapping. Also diversifying life experience is probably the best way to spark creativity…something you’re doing quite well.

        • http://content4chiros.com Joseph Doughty

          Bubbl.us is great but you may also want to check out FreeMind. It is open source software with many more features.

          IMHO: Extended travel is the panacea to a troubled soul or someone seeking inspiration. Watch out, it is addicting.