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How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking -- for Students, Academics and Nonfiction

This book is insane. It was the thing that got me to get into this deep rabbit hole of Roam, and then org-roam. Where I currently have close to a 1000 notes and a bunch of links between them.

  • Have a pen in your hand while writing
  • If you write while reading you ensure you understand it
  • Capture all ideas. This is fleeting notes
  • Literature notes. When you read something write about the content
  • Filing notes
    • behind one or more relates notes
    • Links to them
  • Slip box is simple. Like how the Russians used a pencil in space instead of making a space pen
  • (Luhmann used the DIN A6 size, 148 x 105 mm or 5.83 x 4.13 inches)
  • The student is not there for the professor and the professor is not there for the student
  • You cant learn indepndence you need to do it
  • Taking the notes is just half the job
  • Writing notes in a book is useless, you need to take them in a way where you can find it easy
  • Types of notes
    • Fleeting notes, which are only reminders of information
    • Permanent notes, which will never be thrown away and contain the necessary information in themselves in a permanently - understandable way.
    • Project notes, which are only relevant to one particular project. They are kept within a project-specific folder and discarded
  • Ideally, new notes are written with explicit reference to already existing notes.
  • The first type of links are those on notes that are giving you the overview of a topic.
  • Taking the notes is only the first part of the job
  • Positive feedback loop: the experience of doing the thing must be positive for it to work
  • Multitasking is a bad idea
  • Give every task your full attention