The Art of Note Taking

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- 1 min read

Hello 👋🏽

I genuinely hope you, your family and friends are doing well despite Corona.

Little note of caution: the following is kind of off-topic.

I'm sure many among you enjoy reading as much as I do; not only novels but mainly textbooks on topics such as Future of Work, Leadership, Motivation or even completely other issues. But, that's actually not what I'm interested in, to be entirely honest.

Usually, I take many notes, and in the last years, I have tried to optimize my approach to writing notes. In addition to this, I also want to make these notes accessible from everywhere, to have them well sorted so that I not only find the right notes quickly but also the matching sources. Thus, I've been working a bit on a side project over the last few weeks — due to much free time in quarantine — that helps me with my notes. In the first place, it was meant for me, but if it helps any of you since you have similar pain points, I would think about opening it. 😊

Of course, I will gladly tell you more later, but I would like to hear your thoughts first without any bias. Have you found a way to deal with notes? Any secret templates, apps, recipes? I'd be thrilled if you could share some thoughts and experience! 😊

Stay safe & healthy!

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Replies (4)



My approach has always been quite shitty. Storing notes here and there and not being able to find them back on the right moment in time.

Now, I've come across the best for me so far, but it's far from ideal.

1. WhatsApp group with just me. It's pinned to the top of whatsapp and I'll drop my brainfarts on there.

2. More serious plans/ideas go into Google Keep. I almost never look back at it, but just writing it down helps me. Not a good approach, but the least shitty I've used do far 😂

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Thanks for replying, Pim!
I wrote down a few more details about the project I've been working on:
What do you think? 😊

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I have many Moleskins as I still like to write by hand. But that can be problematic when you have more than 30'ish with notes.

-1- Similar to Pim, I maintain some book notes in an online tool - Evernote

-2- For books that read like textbooks, I'll sometimes use MindManager for mind mapping my notes. While the files are on my local drive, I only do this for select books. If I need to refer back to a map, I can easily remember the title and find the file pretty fast.

-3- I've been trying/attempting to use index cards based on a book I labored through in 2009 - How to Take Smart Notes by Ahrens. It's similar to Ryan Holiday's notecard system -

Still, I keep using my journals. It's not optimal, but a habit.

FYI - first comment - love this site.

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pen and paper

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