As I’ve mentioned before (see here), I make a lot of lists and take regular notes. I write things down so I don’t have to remember them. It was probably all those years of journalism training, but I still can’t sit in a meeting and not take notes.
There’s a scene in Mad Men season three, in the Color Blue episode (Yes, I’m a bit behind. Please don’t spoil it for me.) that reiterated why I write things down. In the scene, Paul Kinsey had a brilliant idea. A once-in-a-lifetime brilliant idea, but he didn’t write it down and doesn’t remember it.
For me, it isn’t the piece of paper that I wrote it on that’s the most important, it is simply that I wrote it down. Because I wrote it down, I am more likely to remember it. But that’s me.
It also means if I have to share details from a meeting with a co-worker or my boss, I am more likely to remember the details and summarize it more effectively.
Using notes as a memory aid and not as a crutch is a fine line. One you’ll have to determine for yourself. But if you aren’t already using notes to your advantage, start small. You might surprise yourself.