Derik Badman's Journal

Content Tagged "Notetaking"

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2019-10-22 08:18

I'm also reading this book How to Take Smart Notes by Sonke Ahrens, which was recommended in one of Kevin Huizenga's zines. Since I was thinking about how bad I am at taking notes, it seemed like a relevant recommendation. The book is purportedly about using this note taking method used by this guy Niklas Luhmann, but also spends a lot of time arguing against the way writing academic papers is taught. In many ways it almost glosses over the actual notetaking process in favor of academic arguments about learning and writing in way that is... well academic. A lot of the ideas seem useful, but one doesn't get a really clear sense of the process as it would actually work.

The primary concept is the "slip box" where one files notes. The notes are written out as actual sentences and thoughts, rather than the kind of shorthand abbreviated jottings one tends to think of as "notes". They are then connected to each other via numbering and... somehow built upon later. In the context of actual physical notes, it's never totally clear how one actually finds any of the notes to connect new one to. In a digital environment that becomes easier with searching. There is an app someone made to use this method, but it's a few years out of date at this point, and is one of those apps created by someone who didn't find it necessary to get any designers to help with the UI. It uses a lot of icons that are very abstract and it's not at all intuitive how to use it (also it's desktop online, no sync, which is a dealbreaker for me (and probably a lot of other people)).

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