Paper can be our valuable ally when our mission is learning something, the authors of Mental Floss magazine explain – in fact, we “get empowered by taking notes on paper,” as many scientific studies prove.
Interestingly, while the blog posts that I and my Say It For You writers create are meant to be read online, there are some valuable tips in this article about note-taking that can be used to organize business blog content.
Mental Floss describes three basic methods for taking handwritten notes – the Outline Method, the Cornell Note-taking System, and the Mapping Method. Each can be used in formatting informative blog posts to make them more engaging and easier for readers to understand.
The Outline Method
This method uses topic titles, followed by indented subtopics (either numbered or with bullet points.
The Cornell Method
This method uses a chart-like method, with each page divided into two columns with one row at the bottom. Students would use the larger right-hand area to record notes, then later add questions and comments of their own in the left-hand column, with an overall summary in the bottom section.
The Mapping Method
This system is nonlinear, with the main topic inside a bubble, and spider legs that lead to secondary thoughts or sources.
As a business blogger, I’m kind of partial to bullet points, and from what I’ve been told, Google and other search engines like them, too. Online searchers who have found our blog posts, remember, aren’t getting the information out of our mouths; we have only our written words, with perhaps some charts or pictures, to engage their attention. The fact that lists and bullet points are generally a good fit for blogs is something I have always stressed in corporate blogging training sessions. What I’ve found over the years is that lists help keep both readers and writers on track.
The “mapping method”, I think, can be adapted for blog series, where you’re exploring different aspects of the same topic in a group of three to four posts. A recent series for a hospital supply corporation blog, for example, offered four different blog posts about bariatric surgery, each of which emphasized one aspect of the topic, The first discussed all the preparation needed on the part of both the patient and the family members leading up to the surgery. Another post compared different methods being used in bariatrics; a third post discussed the psychological aspects of this type of life-changing surgery.
Each blog post, of course, is meant to be shared online. But for us blog content writers, we can get empowered as we plan by taking notes on paper.