It’s been a year since Tim Ferriss pressed ‘Publish’ on an article that I find myself going back to whenever I feel disorganised and overcome by endless pieces of paper: how to take notes like an alpha-geek.

I trust the weakest pen more than the strongest memory, and note taking is—in my experience—one of the most important skills for converting excessive information into precise action and follow-up.

Simple but effective note taking enables me to:

-Review book highlights in less than 10 minutes

-Impose structure on information for increased retention and recall

-Connect scattered notes on a single theme in 10 minutes that would otherwise require dozens of hours

-Contact and connect mentors with relevant questions and help I can offer

This Christmas I’ll be buying myself some appropriate notepads and a box of Bics. I’m determined to make this work.