Taking Smart Notes

Take fleeting notes.

These are notes you take throughout the day - jotting down ideas that pop into your mind. Put them in an inbox, and process them later.

Take literature notes.

When you read something, make notes about the content.

Don't use quotes and be very selective. These notes should be in your own words.

Using your own words will make sure you understand what it really means.

Make permanent notes.

Once a day and before you forget what you meant, go through your fleeting and literature notes and think about what is relevant for your own work.

Write a single note for each idea. Write as if in public - full sentences, full references.

Throw away your fleeting notes and put your literature notes into your reference system (?).

Add your permanent notes to the slip-box.

Add links to related notes.

For instance:

Make sure you can find this note by linking it either from an index, or from an entry-point note (a note that is an overview of a set of sub-topics).

Summarized from:

How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers, by Sönke Ahrens