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10 Great Notes Quotes

Anyone who follows my Twitter account or browses this website knows that I'm an inveterate quote collector. Even my earliest teenage journals are full of quotations.

Nowadays, I'm especially drawn to quotations that speak to Personal Knowbase — quotes that address the importance of taking notes, sharing knowledge, and recording thoughts and ideas.

Hand taking notes

Here are 10 inspiring quotes about keeping notes:

1. Francis Bacon

“Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.” ~ Francis Bacon

When your subconscious provides you with an insight or idea, capture it before it slips away.

2. Lee Iacocca

“The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.” ~ Lee Iacocca

Get in the habit of noting down ideas and plans, so that you know where you're going. It's easier to see the next step when it's in writing.

3. Judith Campbell

“When your heart speaks, take good notes.” ~ Judith Campbell

Inspiration is rare and valuable. Capture whatever thought inspires you as soon as possible.

4. Jack London

“Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into it every stray thought that flutters up into your brain. Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory.” ~ Jack London

Always keep on hand a way to record notes. Whether it's a paper notebook, a voice recorder, or your mobile phone, always have a way to record thoughts. Don't trust your memory. Your brain will be on to the next thing by the time you have another chance to make a note.

5. Will Self

“Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.” ~ Will Self

Same theme as the Jack London quote. Important enough to bear repeating.

6. David Allen

“Well you know, for my experience, your head's for having ideas, not for holding them.” ~ David Allen

The head is for thinking, problem-solving, getting inspiration. Write your ideas down, then let your brain get back to what it does best.

7. Les Brown

“Get your ideas on paper and study them. Do not let them go to waste!” ~ Les Brown

Of course, just getting your notes down isn't enough. Take some time to organize, use, and develop them. Otherwise, you lose the value of writing them down.

8. Bram Stoker

“Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker.” ~ Bram Stoker

The character Van Helsing said this in Stoker's Dracula, but I'm sure Stoker knew the truth of it. Don't trust your memory. Record knowledge so you don't have to rely on memory.

9. Anne Wilson Schaef

“Recent estimates on the rate of information processing tell us that every few minutes we process more information than was processed in a lifetime by those living in the Middle Ages.” ~ Anne Wilson Schaef

Schaef wrote this in the 1990's. Imagine how much worse the situation is now. All that information is coming straight at you. Don't depend on your memory to remember what's important.

10. Richard Branson

“Listening is a wonderful skill, but given that the average human brain tends to store a very small percentage of what, at the time, may seem like insignificant statements and ideas, those books fill in a lot of what otherwise would be blank spaces in my memory bank. Acquiring the habit of note-taking is therefore a wonderfully complementary skill to that of listening. Please write this down right now so you don’t forget it!” ~ Richard Branson

Yes, write it down.

Do you love quotes? Personal Knowbase is useful for storing and organizing your quotation collection. Learn more about using Personal Knowbase to organize quotations.