I was recently asked why notebook page numbers are important. It then occurred to me that people don’t know this simple productivity hack. How many of you have spent time wondering if you are leaving enough space for meeting notes? Do you use separate notebooks for work or different subjects just so your notes are organized? Have you rethought your paper notes in lieu of electronic notes that you can search? Page numbers can help you be more organized in your business notebook and more productive at work. Here’s why.
Easily Find the Pages with Relevant Information
By numbering the pages, it’s easy to note what page related content is on. Think of this like a built in table of contents or index. From a very young age, I was taught to start at the table of contents or index to find information about a topic. This was especially useful writing term papers and research reports. Why not do the same with your notes? If I’m working on Project ABC, I can take notes on page 17, then again on page 25. On page 25, I can indicate that this picks up from page 17. I can add both these page numbers to the Index at the front of my notebook.
Similarly, if you are logging future events or deadlines in a different place than your notes about that deadlines deliverable, If you are using the Calendex method to organize future tasks, you need to have page numbers to indicate your notes about events. You can read about the Calendex here.
Stop Wasting Time Worrying about Where to Write
Just write. With notebook page numbers, you can write on any page and be able to locate your notes quickly with the page number. It’s the end of the year. I’m in the middle of a notebook for work. But I’ve changed jobs and need to write out goals!! It’s okay. I just flip to the next available page and start writing. I wasted no energy wondering where to put my notes. Next, I flip to the Index and quickly jot down ‘New Job, 30-60-90 day Plan’ and put the page number. Since switching to notebooks that have page numbers, I spend less time worrying about where to put my notes.
Notebook Page Numbers Make Your Paper Organization System Searchable
“I can’t use your notebooks! That’s great that you have your paper notes but that’s not useful to me.” This is a direct quote from the person who took over my last job. In the digital age, it’s almost expected that we use OneNote to manage all of our daily notes. Plenty of my co-workers swear by OneNote and preach it’s searchable interface. I’m not one of those people. Taking notes with paper and pen has always worked best for me. I remember information better and it allows me to be more engaged. By using a notebook with page numbers and maintaining an Index, I was able to tell my successor that these notebooks are totally indexed and “searchable.”
Have you tried notebook page numbers? Did this help you stay more organized? Do you have questions about how to use page numbers? Feel free to comment or send me a note! If this post was useful, don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter!
What are my business notebook options?
There are several different options when it comes to notebooks with page numbers. You can buy notebooks that already have their pages numbered or you can number them yourself. Below are some of my favorites.
This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. You can read more here.
If you are looking to buy notebooks that already come with numbered pages and a laid out index, I highly recommend the Leuchtturm. These come in a variety of sizes, but I’m partial to A5 size (~5 1/2 inches x 8 inches). If you are looking for something larger for a notebook you leave at your desk, you can try the B5 (~ 7″ x 10″) or the Master Slim. You can buy these notebooks with lined, dot grid, or squared pages. These are very plain and professional.
For something more funky, Scribbles that Matter is a really popular option. They come in either a patterned “iconic” cover or plain “professional” option. These come with a pen loop. Disclaimer: I have not personally tried these notebooks.
The Red Co. notebook I currently use for work has numbered pages however the two ribbon bookmarks have come detached. I personally find the 5″x 7″ size awkward, especially since all other notebooks (personal bullet journal and The Paper Gazer notebook) are the slightly larger A5 size.
In a search for something of comparable quality to the Leuchtturm at a lower price, I ordered an Essentials notebook. These notebooks, by Peter Pauper Press, do not come with numbered pages. These notebooks are of great quality! I have been super impressed. (Review to come!) I went through and numbered the pages while watching TV. You could also number the pages as you go. Don’t forget to leave a couple pages at the beginning for an index! Worst case, put your index in the back!