This week, we're bringing it back to the basics of how to be a well organized business owner. Being an efficient note taker has been a key attribute to our success in managing so many businesses at once. Now as a business owner, we have implemented a 5 notebook rule that helps our business run efficiently.
Our 5 Notebook Rule offers a structured approach that empowers small business owners to streamline their operations, hardness their creative potential, and maintain a strong sense of control over their endeavors. Let's dive into this strategy and explore how each notebook plays a key piece in our notetaking success.
Business Owner Notebook 1: The Operations Notebook
This notebook keeps track of day-to-day notes and tasks you need to complete. You could use each page and organize your notes by project or day. Here you are taking detailed notes on what needs to get done. For example, if you are a bakery, you may make one page titled "Display Menu Board" and another page titled "Inventory Order Sept. 1-9, 2023." When you're done with the project or the notes, you can shred them and recycle or store in a file drawer (for some odd unknown reason). Usually at the end of a operations notebook, there are little to no pages left, because you've ripped them all out by completing your day-to-day operations tasks.
The operations notebook is essential to keeping up with "those things you want to do" but instead of having post-it notes everywhere, you have one notebook. Plus, it feels really, really good ripping out the pages.
For this notebook, I prefer to have an old school college like notebook that I get from any office supply store.
Business Owner Notebook 2: Ideas to Market and Grow Notebook
This notebook is where you see stars! You know those ideas that you get in your head like "How you're going to become a video queen" or "The course outline I can't wait to build" or "September Marketing Topics," you can make a page for each of these topics. You may come back to these pages to write down more ideas or actually get started on them. Or perhaps, you may look at these pages for inspiration.
I've had the same ideas notebook that literally has stars on it for YEARS. It's a quality notebook that I am very fond of. One of the things I like to do in this notebook is have a page dedicated to a FAQs spread. So every time someone asks me a question, I write it down on these pages. It's true that "You don't know what you don't know." These questions help me make content later down the road.
The marketing notebook is most essential to keep in good condition. When you're a beginner, you learn things from a beginner perspective that you want to write down to remember and share about later. When you become more advanced, you want to write the things you learn in business to also market. If your marketing ideas notebook is big enough to hold all your ideas for a long period of time, you can keep recycling this marketing content for years to come.
Business Owner Notebook 3: The Business Owner Journal
DO NOT SKIP THIS IF YOU ALREADY PERSONALLY JOURNAL; this business owner journal is different. The business owner journal is where you think about the business owner you are, and consider the CEO you want to become. It's the notebook where you think through your dreams. You shape you vision for your manifestation. You question yourself in all the ways you would be questioned if you had a boss. Actually, you will probably ask yourself even more intimidating questions that your boss would ask. Because by sitting with the answers to those questions, you find the business owner in you that you were always meant to become.
This personal journal will have dates on the pages and should be a quality notebook that is very attractive to you. It would be a notebook that gets you excited to open and sit with by yourself in your office. It would possibly never leave your office. Mine is brown leather and has modern one-lined drawings of women faces. I only journal about being a business owner in this one.
I will write a blog post later about how to journal as a business owner; I promise.
Business Owner Notebook 4: The Password Notebook
I've been talking about the password notebook for years. My point of needing to keep a secure, handwritten notebook of usernames and passwords has proved itself with my clients time and time again. I stay LOYAL to my old school ways of keeping a password notebook, and it almost never fails me.
When I first started this notebook, I wrote a list (separately on a scratch sheet of paper) of all the accounts my business had. Then I looked up the username, updated it to my new business email to finally get rid of my yahoo account, and I've maintained the notebook since. It has taken me time to grow it. And a lot of white out for the every six month updates in my accounts. But I don't have password problems like so many people I know do. To be honest, I have received backlash saying that handwritten passwords are a thing of the past and that "Last Pass" is superior. But what happens when a computer is hacked and inaccessible? What happens when the back up account is locked out too? I've faced several security breaches, and the most recent one was most severe. This business owner lost access to her email from a security breach, couldn't get into her password manager, and had no idea what accounts she should update because she didn't have a list anywhere. A handwritten list would have really come in handy to secure her accounts faster.
This password notebook keeps a list of your accounts, usernames, and passwords. It makes it easier to have multiple passwords and secure data. Sure, it is an extra step. It's an important habit I am willing to practice so that I never have "password problems."
Business Owner Notebook 5: The Best Daily Planner
There is nothing better than having a planner to help you in your day-to-day roles. A good planner has monthly calendars, monthly budgeting, check-ins, weekly views, and daily checklists.
I use all the features of my planner to maximize its full potential! I use my planner to budget monthly and I take the time to write what I do every do in time blocks. By looking at what I did last week, I can easier remember follow-up items that need done. Between my planner and my operations notebook, less tasks are overlooked and more gets done.
Here's a link to my planner because I can't say enough good things about it. I'm not an affiliate of this company - I just love them.
To be a business owner, it takes skill-building and practice. You can't expect your brain to remember everything. But if you put your thoughts into organized places, you can remember mostly everything. I guess what I've learned is that for what I can't remember - that is why businesses need digital automations. That's another segment.
Let's start by mastering the basics. Your business will thank you for it!
Stack Strategies Co. is an online digital marketing company based in Cleveland, Ohio. Stack Strategies offers a variety of marketing services! You can save time and learn by investing in a session with us to master your marketing strategies. We offer ongoing marketing programs to help our clients keep up on their monthly marketing tasks. SS leads the way in small business marketing by sharing tips and tricks on our Behind the Strategies Marketing Blog. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Alignable for business-building inspiration. Or contact SS for your next project! Our clients love us and we love them back! Check out our reviews on Facebook, Google and BBB.