6 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2021
    1. Furthermore, by doing it promptly, you’re keeping a short to-do list. The “loop” between what you wrote as a “fleeting” note and what gets turned into helpful long term information is a lot tighter- you have the instant feedback of “this didn’t turn out to be as useful as I thought it might” or “I actually need to bring in a lot more information for this to make sense”.

      Be timely in the process of converting from quick note to permanent note.

    2. One topic Ahrens book brings up is that brains like closed loops. For example- you trust a to-do list more if you manage to regularly add and cross things off the list. For example, if you can break tasks down into discrete, concrete steps and actually accomplish them incrementally, you have a higher likelihood of finishing things, and finishing more things.

      In order for this process to work it is important to close the loop on the various steps to the process. Setting up process steps from start to finish and working through them methodically should help.

    3. Summarize an author’s argument in my own words thoroughly enough that someone else could read the note and not need to see the source text in order to understand the author’s argument.Create the mechanisms by which relevant arguments or information can be associated with the note, and contextualized in a meaningful way (writing links to other notes, and using tags to group together relevant notes.Record any original thoughts I have in response to information.Add enough information so that I can track down the original citation, as well as any sources the author quoted.

      Permanent note tips.

    4. The defining feature of “Smart Notes” as described by Ahrens is that you move from a “fleeting note” (a note taken while reading, meant only to spur your thinking again and remind you of a specific detail) and, within a reasonable amount of time, you translate that to a “permanent note”

      The goal is to take the notes that were jotted down in the moment and turn them into a permanent note, something that can be retained for a longer period of time.

    5. The other pitfall I call “filter feeding”- attempting to glean the necessary “nutrients” from a source only while reading it, and not even bothering trying to take any notes down. This may be the default state when drinking from the fire hose. Reading endless blogs, social media, or even books without challenging ourselves through writing and discussion can lead to the experience of feeling, as Postman describes, like we know “of” many things without really knowing about them.

      Reading vast amounts of information can lead one to think they know a lot, but retention is not good. To increase retention one should write, converse or otherwise engage with the information.

    6. Hoarding is often the first step people take (myself included) towards meaningful engagement with the firehose. The simplest (and least effective) form of hoarding is bookmarking. We think if we can merely access information, it will be helpful. Another form this takes is services like Evernote which merely digitize notes, and then rely on your ability to remember where something was (or lean too heavily on a search feature- you have to know what to search for!) Without actually engaging with content, understanding it, and connecting it to existing knowledge, it serves little purpose. Furthermore, the best systems will bring relevant content close to you as part of the process, not relying on your ability to recall something in order for it to be found.

      Hoarding information encourages little engagement and thus little retention.