4 Surprise Benefits to Making Your Notes Public

I recently decided to launch a new thought experiment.

What would it look like to make my notes public for people to read in their most raw and unpolished form?

And would this hold any benefit to others to have access to?

This is a question I’m currently asking myself.

I’m calling it The Wizard’s Lair

A peek behind the curtain as I process information in real-time and build in public.

Links, Resources, Essays. Daily and weekly planning journals. Ideas for new trainings. Rough drafts. Course Notes. SOP’s. Swipe Files. Software Stacks.

As I’ve rolled out the alpha edition of this experiment, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how this process is supporting alignment of my values with my work and professional life.

Here are 4 surprise benefits to taking notes in public:

The Courage to Create

I’ve long struggled with the fear of being seen, as well as looping thought patterns about whether my contributions truly matter. I’ve also struggled with perfectionism for much of my life.

There’s something about putting your self out there in imperfect form that feels quite courageous.

And in the process – it’s quite freeing.

I’m finding my creative expression feels unchained, like a weight has been removed. I’ve been taking other action around this, but note-taking in public is supporting this shift.

A release of the need to be perfect.

Acting in Integrity

Acting in integrity, even behind closed doors is something that has always been important to me.

I don’t hold the illusion that I’m perfect, but I do my best to behave ethically, and do the right thing when presented with a dilemma.

I’m experimenting with sharing my daily planning notes as part of this experiment, which creates an additional layer of accountability.

It reminds me of the litmus test “is this something my grandmother would approve of?”

I’ll be clear – I’m not aiming for 100% approval of my actions, however if something feels shameful to share publicly in my daily planning notes, then that’s something I’ll need to evaluate further.

My biggest concern with this process is if I’ll be able to effectively construct these planning notes in a way that a: has continued utility to me as the primary function, while b: being respectful of client privacy, as they haven’t enrolled in this public process.

It doesn’t feel right to share their inner workings openly without explicit permission.

While this is definitely a work in process, I’m liking it as a concept.

Inspiring Creativity 

Knowing that my notes will be seen by others makes me want to ensure that the systems of linking thoughts and ideas are functioning well in service of more effective output.

It may be aspirational, but I’d like to think of what I share here as a process of co-creation, and as an inspired dance with the world.

Partnership at scale.

I’ve been known to share my belief that we don’t own information, and that we are simply stewards of it. What matters most is how we apply information in service to higher contribution.

Through this lens, I’m finding this process is opening up new lines of creative thinking throughout my day. It’s my hope it may inspire you in some small, yet meaningful way.

Collecting with Intention

Recently, I adopted a new set of questions to ask myself before saving links into my personal knowledge system (pkm). I’ve long speculated that I might be an “overcollector”, and it was recently validated by a survey I took as part of Nick Milo’s Linking Your Thinking Workshop.

The questions I ask myself are:

  • Is this worthy of my attention?
  • What are my intentions for keeping this information?
  • Will I write about it?
  • Is it actionable?
  • Will it be valuable to share with others?

Asking these questions has already proven valuable for introspection, but with the added layer of social accountability, they become an even more powerful filter.

They help create a sense of responsibility to those who may encounter my notes.

It’s my intention that anyone who explores them will be able to derive some sense of meaning or utility from what I commit to “pixel” in digital note-taking form.

I’m ok with things getting a bit messy at times, but I also think there’s some wisdom to the saying “garbage in, garbage out”.

As such, I’ll be collecting with intention.

Would you consider taking notes in public?

I’m committed to taking notes in public for at least the next 3 months, and hope to continue much longer if these benefits continue, and people find what I share useful.

I’m curious, would you ever consider trying this approach? I’d love it if you would let me know.

If you’d like to check out the alpha edition of my public notes, you can do that here in The Wizard’s Lair.

100% of the alpha experiment proceeds will go to Unity 4 Orphans, a charitable organization established to raise awareness, unite communities, and move people towards creatively and tangibly investing in the lives of abandoned and neglected children.

p.s. thank you to Sana Ahmed for the original inspiration to share this thought experiment publicly.

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