EASIEST way to deal with scattered notes

Video thumbnail showing a startled young lady surrounded by flying pieces of paper, caption text reading "sh*t! my notes."


Click on the pic above to watch this video on YouTube or click play below to listen to the Podcast version



What do you do with random notes in your notebook, Post-It notes around your office, or things you jotted down in an app? The answer is simple, but chances are you aren’t doing it! If your desk is covered with “oh right I have to remember to…” notes, you need this entire episode of Sidekick COO. Let’s dive into the easiest way to deal with scattered notes!


  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 00:31 A simple change that fixed a client’s calendar
  • 01:53 The big question!
  • 02:30 The key to the solution
  • 03:11 Step-by-step solution
  • 04:01 Important note about where you put your notes!
  • 04:15 When to deal with your notes
  • 04:30 How to handle an individual note
  • 05:07 After putting it where it belongs, where does it go?
  • 05:44 Reminder about the key to the solution!
  • 05:55 What if you have a VA? (Not what you expect!)
  • 06:48 The problem with letting your VA handle your notes
  • 08:00 Summary of the Important Parts of Your Notes Process


The transcript is below if you would prefer to read this yourself instead of watching the video!


Hey, welcome or welcome back. I’m Sandra B your Sidekick COO.

You know, one of the things that I really love doing in my job is finding really, really, really simple solutions to some pretty seemingly major problems. Or at least, problems that seem to have no solution. I just love it when I can find the littlest kind of tip that makes changes somebody’s whole day.

My favorite example is with one of my clients. It didn’t seem to matter what we did with their calendar, they always felt so overwhelmed every time they looked at it. They were just like, “I don’t know, I just get so anxious and overwhelmed every time I look at my calendar, I feel like there’s way too much going on”. And we had tried taking a few things off their calendar, and we stopped doing the time blocking and that helped a little bit but, they were still struggling and feeling way overwhelmed and just struggling to get started every day. 

I was like, “Okay, let’s hop on a call quick zoom call. I wanna see what you see when you look at your calendar”. So we hop on a call, she shows me her screen and it’s this calendar and everything is in ORANGE. My first thought was, “Is orange your favorite color? I know it’s not your favorite color. Okay! Let’s try this”. And all we did was tweak the color of her calendar and we made it this nice kind of calming blue color and from that day on, she had no problems with her calendar. It was night and day. She felt so much more space and relief and stress-free looking at her calendar all because we just changed the color! Because that orange color was just too…

“Aaaah, everything’s on fire. Stop!”

So it’s things like that that I really like doing in my business. So when I got the question or the call of “help, I have loose notes everywhere, What the heck do I do”? I just had to laugh because this is something that everybody, well, I guess I can’t say everybody, but almost everybody I speak to struggles with this idea of having loose notes everywhere. Even I struggle with it. I’m constantly less so now that I have a bit of a process, but for a long, long time I was constantly having like a bunch of different books, a bunch of different like notepads and post-it notes and things like that, having loose notes everywhere. It happens, it’s okay. So what is the easiest way to deal with scattered notes?

The key is to have a process of how to deal with them.

So if you’re somebody that just, you really like writing with paper and pen, you need that kind of connection to get the words outta your brain. I totally understand. I still haven’t really given up paper, but you do need to have a process for dealing with that paper once you’re done with it. And this is going to take a little bit of trial and error for you possibly because there is no one size fits all process for this okay? 

If you can find the process that works best for you, then just make sure that you do it all the time and build that habit. I promise that this will actually be a fairly simple solution. So the solution to the, “I have loose notes everywhere” is to have a process to deal with those notes once you are done taking them.

Whether it is …

  • a post-it note that you’ve jotted something down on 
  • or a notepad that you’ve jotted something down on
  • or maybe you have an app on your phone that you’ve made notes in

It doesn’t really matter what you’re doing you’re going to have time, end of the day tends to work well for most people, you could even do it at the beginning of the day. So you take the notes from yesterday and put them somewhere. But what you’re gonna do is at some designated time, you are going to deal with those notes and do not wait a week to deal with them because then there are too many notes. It should be right after you’ve taken the note or at the end of the day or your very next day, you take that note and you put it in its permanent home. And that permanent home needs to be accessible to anybody on your team.

If you don’t have a team, it should still be a place that will be accessible once you actually have a team. Okay? So that means that if you have a note written on a notepad or you have a note written on a sticky note as I do here. At the end of the day, you’re going to take that note and you’re gonna go, “Oh, that’s telling me I need to send this URL to one of my Scale Society members”. So I am going to either just do that thing because that’s gonna take two seconds or, if it’s something that is gonna take a little bit of time, I have to deal with it later or whatnot, I’m gonna put it as a task in my project management tool. Or if it is something that is just a note, I just need to have a reference for it later. Maybe it’s a client note that I just need to document something like that, then I am going to put it in my client note stock. 

So for all of my clients, we have a space where we put meeting notes. That is where that note would go. So look at the note, figure out where it belongs, put it where it belongs, and then remove it. Get rid of it, delete it, burn it. I don’t care what you do, but get rid of it. 

Do not have it on your desk. Do not keep it in the notepad. If you are keeping it in the notepad, scratch it out so you know that it’s done. Or get one of those ‘entered’ stamps that you can get from like Staples or Business Depot. Or, order it on Amazon! It’s a little stamp, it’s red, and it says ‘entered’. Stamp ‘entered’ on it so that you know that’s taken care of. You don’t have to worry about it anymore. Flip the page onto your next note. 

That is the key to having loose notes everywhere. Having that process for dealing with it regularly every single time and not letting them pile up. It is no good to wait until the end of the week to do it because by then you have way too many notes. You’re not gonna do it, you will not have time. 

The other way of doing this process is if you have help. If you have a virtual assistant, one way you can deal with this process (I’m not a huge fan of this way but it’s doable) is to actually send that note to your VA. Whether you take a picture and send it to them or record a voice note and send it to them so they can document it. Whatever you wanna do, make sure it’s okay with your VA. Make sure that they have a process for dealing with it once it’s received. Make sure you know what that process is so you can find the note later and still make sure that you mark off that note or destroy that note or get rid of that note or whatever you have to do once you’ve passed it on to your VA.

There still needs to be a process. You do this –  they do this –  it goes here – everybody’s happy. The process is going to save you here regardless of what your process is. Now I say I don’t necessarily love the idea of like sending it to your VA and only because it’s unwieldy. Only because taking a picture and then having them having to transcribe it from your chicken scratch or whatever, or doing a voice note and having them have to transcribe from your voice can be problematic. It can take longer and it can, there can be misunderstandings in the relay of information. 

There are lots of things can go wrong with it and also there’s always the potential that they might not get around to it and then maybe they forget and then that note is lost. Or maybe you needed that note right away, but it’s gonna take them a couple of days to get to it cuz you’ve sent them a few. 

Regardless of what it is, it’s not the best solution. I would much rather you take care of it. There will be times when you go to do something with the note and you’ll be like, “Oh! Actually, I did that already. That’s done” or “Oh, I don’t need that anymore actually. That was just a thought I wrote down, but it’s actually not relevant” or whatever. Rather than just taking pictures or sending stuff to your VA all willy-nilly, you might actually just be able to get rid of it. 

So as I said, regardless of which process you do, as long as you have the process, (and preferably document the process) use that process continuously and build a habit around it, that is what’s going to save you from the loose notes everywhere pandemic that you have right now. 

All right. If you feel like I just described you to a T with the whole idea of having loose notes everywhere or you thought about somebody that you know who definitely had loose notes everywhere, make sure to like and subscribe or, and/or send this to your friend who you know needs to hear it.

You can send it to them right now. I won’t mind. I’d really appreciate it actually! 

And don’t forget, together we thrive. 

Take Care.

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

The Great Big List of KPI's

Want more? Check these out!

Dip your toes into transformation with these resources that pack a punch, all on the house.

Get started with KPIs with this free guide that will show you what KPIs you need to track, how many is too many, how to identify trends, examples of KPIs for every area of your business.

Washup & Reset

An annual business review to get you off the “set goal, miss goal, try-same-thing-again” merry-go-round, The Wash-up shows you haw to use the lessons from this year to get the most out of next year.

4D-90 Framework

This process is designed to be completed every quarter so you always know exactly what to do to hit your goals without putting in more time, create a new offer, or adding yet another launch to your calendar.

Budget Template

Struggling to know where you're money's going and whether you can afford that new course you've been eyeing? You need a budget and this template will help.

KPI Business Dashboard

Your easy answer to "What the heck do I track?"  You'll have all of your numbers in one place, and have at-a-glance information so you always know whether you're on track to meet your goals.

Grab your Budget Template