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Mission to Learn – Lifelong Learning Blog
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Are You a Miner? The Power of Revisiting Your Notes

3 Miner FiguresFor years I have been accumulating an array of notebooks that now reside in file drawers and bookshelves throughout my house and office. My preferences have changed over the years from legal pads to spiral notebooks to hardbound journals. More recently, of course, I have moved more towards the digital realm with word processing applications, tools like Evernote, and of course, blogs.

In all these various receptacles, the learning of my life accumulates. But it would be a shame if that were the end of the story.

I wrote a while back about my renewed commitment to note-taking. For me, the act of writing things down in the first place contributes greatly to learning. More recently, a massive server outage at Bluehost – the former hosting provider for Mission to Learn – left me scrambling to get the blog back up and running again. One of the silver linings was that I ended up spending quite a bit of time digging  through old posts and comments. In the process, I stumbled upon many things I had forgotten and found sources of inspiration for moving forward. And I had the opportunity to reflect upon how the blog and my own learning have evolved over the past two plus years.

I don’t do this kind of “mining” often enough. I suspect I am not unlike most people in thinking I will get around to it eventually, and then rarely do. But taking the time to periodically revisit notes and other writings can be a powerful experience – one I intend to make a much more consistent part of my learning habits going forward.

How about you? Are you a miner? Might be time to put on the hard hat and do a little digging.

Jeff Cobb
Mission to Learn

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About the Author Jeff Cobb

I am an avid lifelong learner who writes and speaks frequently on the critical role of learning in our fast-changing world.

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2 comments
Jeff Cobb says

Jon – Thanks for commenting. I think reminding ourselves of these types of things is often half the battle! – Jeff

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Jon Aleckson says

Thanks Jeff! This is an important reminder to us all to take good notes. I admit I need to work on the art of note taking and storage. I have found that keeping a “leather” bound notebook helps give my notes importance. Also, as an employer it is irritating to sit in a meeting with one to five employees and discover no one is taking notes. If I am providing instructions to an individual employee in a private meeting, I expect them to be taking notes and then communicating back with me to verify what I just said. Good practice! Good insurance as I frequently change my mind.

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