4 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2020
    1. You should construct evergreen (permanent) notes based on concepts, not related to a source (e.g. a book) or an author.

      Your mental models are compression functions. You make them more powerful by trying to use them on new information. Are you able to compress the new information with an already acquired function? Yes, then you've discovered an analogous concept across two different sources. Sort of? Then maybe there's an important difference, or maybe it's a clue that your compression function needs updating. And finally, no? Then perhaps this is an indication that you need to construct a new mental model – a new compression function.

    1. Instead of having a task like “write an outline of the first chapter,” you have a task like “find notes which seem relevant.” Each step feels doable. This is an executable strategy (see Executable strategy).

      Whereas Dr. Sönke Ahrens in How to Make Smart Notes seemed to be saying that the writing of a permanent note (~evergreen note) is a unit of knowledge work with predictable effort & time investment (as well as searching for relevant notes), Andy emphasizes only the note searching activity in this context.

    1. By contrast, when we’re working on a large work-in-progress manuscript, we’re juggling many ideas in various states of completion. Different parts of the document are at different levels of fidelity. The document is large enough that it’s easy to lose one’s place or to forget where other relevant points are when one returns. Starting and stopping work for the day feel like heavy tasks, drawing heavily on working memory.

      One key difference between working with atomic, evergreen notes compared to a draft manuscript is that the ideas in the manuscript are at different levels of evolution / fidelity. The ideas in the evergreen notes are all evolved components.

    1. Instead, nurture the wild idea and let it develop over time by incrementally writing Evergreen notes about small facets of the idea.

      If you cannot tackle a subject head on, tackle it obliquely by writing evergreen notes about facets of the idea.

      This is an interesting way of reducing the scope of, say, an essay, without sacrificing quality. Instead of writing the whole thing, just write an atomic piece about one of the concepts you need for the larger piece.