Have you ever come across a note that might be important but have no idea when or where it was written?
Getting in the habit of dating everything isn’t relationship advice… it means adding a few extra pen or key strokes and time-stamping your written notes.
It takes only seconds to date all of your written communications. The seconds invested give 3 main benefits.
1. Know Exactly How Much Time Has Passed
Just like having a “use by” date on a carton of milk, knowing when an idea first came to mind or an intended action was created will allow you to know if the idea or action has expired.
If it’s too late to salvage, toss the note and try to do better next time. If not, throw it into your to-do list and take action on it when the time and place allows.
2. Holds Others Accountable
Emails, voicemails, and other electronic notes have the benefit of time-stamping communication for you. That automation is not (yet) available on handwritten notes and many word processors.
Dating delegated tasks or agreements takes away the excuse that you only just gave them the project.
“The note says three weeks ago… get on it buddy.”
3. Hint At Where the Note Was Taken
If you know when a note was written, it may jog your memory enough to figure out the where.
“This was written on October 15th. Wasn’t I at the marketing conference in New York mid-October?”
Knowing how much time has passed, holding others accountable and using the ‘when’ to figure out ‘where’ of a note, are some simple reasons to date all of your written communications.
Did I miss any? What are some reasons you choose to date or not date your items? Leave your thoughts in the comments.