PTPL 090: Your Daily Note Can Help You Ask Great Questions (and Get Great Answers)
Plus—My Bullet Journal has migrated to a discbound book, and it’s AWESOME
Welcome! I’m Ellane, and this is a weekly, garage-door-up summary of how I’m learning to simplify and future-proof my digital-analog workflow.
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What might change in your life if you were consistently able to ask great questions? This week I look at how your daily note is as good place as any to practice this skill. I also talk about migrating my Bullet Journal to a disc bound book only one month into the practice.
Great questions bring great answers (daily notes can help)
Thought Leadering of the day: asking great questions is an extremely underrated skill. 80% of the time you will find your solution as you’re writing the question, and the other 20% of the time people will find it really easy to help.
Tech support people the world over will be nodding as they read this, but what about the rest of us? When do we find ourselves needing to ask great questions? No matter who you are or what you do, the answer is daily.
This quote speaks to me of a deep curiosity which, when properly honed, will lead us to the answers we’re looking for in any field. Start with Why? and repeat this most basic of questions for each answer you come up with until you reach the core of the matter.
Your digital or analog daily note is a convenient place to practice asking the kinds of questions that can help you to problem solve on your own, and make it easier for others to help when outside input is needed.
Lifehack suggests the following four pointers once you’re ready to move on from Why, that can apply when talking to others as well as when using your notes for introspection.
1. Don’t ask Yes or No questions
Keep them open ended with words like who, what, where, when, and how.
2. Dig deeper
Most answers contain an assumption. Asking followup questions can bring further insights.
4. Use the power of silence
Humans tend to want to fill the gaps, so get comfortable listening to an answer and then waiting a while.
5. Don’t interrupt
According to Inc.Australia, I’m a co-operative overlapper. I need to remember that turn-takers can see this style of conversing as rude, or as an attempt to take the dominant position in a discussion. Participants in the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) were introduced to a third style: the Pauser. This style of question asker / answerer not only listens to their interlocutor, they leave a space once the person has finished speaking before giving their contribution.
Your … daily note is a convenient place to practice asking the kinds of questions that can help you to problem solve on your own, and make it easier for others to help when outside input is needed.
I’m practicing asking good questions (good comes before great, right?) in my notes by asking myself open ended questions related to the notes I make (many of which are simply facts about my day), digging deeper than the obvious, and allowing myself space when I can’t immediately think of a response.
Bullet Journal migration to discbound goodness
This week I migrated my Bullet Journal from the mini stitch-bound notebook I made on New Year’s Eve, to a discbound version. I was very impressed with the website and packaging of my order from The Functional Teacher. I got the frosted A5 covers and frosted discs, which arrived wrapped in monogrammed tissue paper in a classy dark green box.
The 28mm discs are larger than I need, so I’ll be using my Happy Planner gold aluminium discs in the next size down. Sometime I’d like to make a wrap around folio cover for the book to protect the discs while in my bag, probably from cork.
In the spirit of the Paper Saver notebook, I have a section in my discbound book for single-sided scrap paper.
Before migrating to this new notebook, I scanned the text of the previous book’s Index page directly into Obsidian. It was pretty good, but not error-free; I need to be more careful with my handwriting to speed up the process next time.
This post is also on Medium (one day later than it’s published here), and includes a Friend link for non-paying subscribers. I’m currently at a standstill with migrating from Substack. Still on the journey, seeking clarity about the destination.
Download productivity goodies (including a soon-to-be-updated Obsidian Planner demo vault) here.
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