Think Cards

Sometimes, the simplest things are the best. Here is such a thing, a suggestion to effectively fight the monkey brain and help to establish habits. Both is difficult to do for humans, but the “Think Cards” concept is one of the best tools for accomplishing just that. It is simple, non-digital, and you don’t have to invest any effort — reading a few words on some file cards is enough. You can use it anytime, anywhere, and how long you want.

It is not my invention, of course. Matthias Buettner, invented the “THINK! method”, and he published an interesting ebook about it []. Get the book, it’s a worth read and will deepen your knowledge about think cards and how to use them properly.

His method uses “mind cards” (I call them “think cards”, but that is only marginal). For me, the think cards have proven they’re worth in gold. Every morning, when my brain awakes, and is still desert-like, populated with nothing but the monkey brain, I use the think cards.

The Think Cards serve as a reminder that doesn’t annoy you (like many digital reminders on your screen). It doesn’t because you take them up on your behalf. The method is easy: write the important messages, thoughts, or the things you want to learn on file cards. One card one thought.

The process is straightforward: simply pick them up and read them one by one, thinking about each one a bit. Do this as often as possible during a day.

That’s all! There is no more to it.

If the file card format is small enough, you can carry your personal set of think cards with you in your note book. I carry my think cards in every notebook I have. Most of them have the convenient pocket in the back, the perfect place for the cards.

You can use coloured cards (I prefer them), stickers, Washi tape, or whatever you fancy to make them attractive to you (important!), and the helps you in taking them into the hand with affection.

You can spice up the messages you want to absorb with “call-to-actions”, or even insert call-to-action cards into the stack. As I am a big fan, and almost daily user of the Birkenbihl “ABC-method”, I even have a think card reminding me to do my daily ABC-list. I don’t succeed doing it daily, but with more frequency than without the think cards.

Do ONE good thing today.

Your are a wonderful person.

Name three things you are thankful for in your life.

Make a present to one person today.

Make an ABC-list on a topic.

Invent a trick today.

You can see in which direction this could head. You get the idea. The think cards method is perfect to manipulate yourself, whenever you want to install a new habit, or learn something. It is a reminder, motivator, and something the pushes you. It makes you reflect on the things that are floating around in your mind. It is certainly nothing new (what is?), but it is one of the quickest and safest way to success.

Important is to read the cards multiple times a day. Glance over them, reflect on you have written. The idea is to help the brain learn the message effortless, and almost without you noticing it, by the short, and multiple repetitions, as in all learning.

A simple system with marvellous results.

And it is a great help to stop the monkey brain.