Do you constantly feel like your note-taking is lacking?
You take notes & you highlight. You have databases filled with quotes. But your notes are a chaotic mess and rather than being helpful to your creator life they are a constant cause of stress and anxiety. The more you consume, the more chaotic it gets.
It wasn't until I started to make permanent notes that my notes actually started to be useful to me as a creator.
The permanent note concept originally comes from the book How To Take Smart Notes & the Zettelkasten system described in it. I'm not going to go into the whole system because you don't need it. But it is worth understanding the concept of permanent notes so you can start to build your own library of notes.
First. Permanent notes are not a quotes & notes database. You're not going to throw every highlight you've ever made in there. Permanent notes are a forcing function for your thoughts on what you consume. They build permanent understanding & insight.
"Notes aren’t a record of my thinking process. They are my thinking process." Richard Feynman
So, how do you turn that chaotic mess of notes into a helpful library of permanent notes? Simple. Collect them all up into a catch-all inbox. Then each day choose a few notes to think about. Ask yourself why did this resonate? How does this connect to what I already know? What else can I add?
Then start writing. Don't overthink this part. You literally can't get it wrong as long as you are pushing yourself to go further than just clipping a quote & filing it away.
When you make this a daily practice, you'll not only build a library of notes. You'll build a library of understanding & insight. And then watch your content grow out of that.
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Posted as a Daily Essay on 22nd February 2022 in Atomic Note-Taking