How Note Taking Can Help You Become an Expert - Deepstash
How to Become a Quick Learner

Learn more about problemsolving with this collection

Cultivating a growth mindset and embracing challenges

Developing adaptive thinking and problem-solving skills

Effective learning frameworks and approaches

How to Become a Quick Learner

Discover 65 similar ideas in

It takes just

10 mins to read

Cognitive Flexibility Theory

Cognitive Flexibility Theory

Cognitive Flexibility Theory is a 30 year old learning theory that focuses on the question“how do experts deal with novelty?” . It's one thing to learn to to a certain thing to perfection, but how do you learn to produce new things?

4 key insights of CFT:

  1. CFT is Concerned With Ill-Structured Domains
  2. In Ill-Structured Domains, Cases Are As If Not More Important Than Concepts
  3. Experts construct a temporary schema on the fly, by combining fragments of previous cases.
  4. Experts an ‘adaptive worldview’: meaning that they do not think there is one root cause as explanation for a particular event


1.31K reads

Ill-Structured Domains

Ill-Structured Domains

An ill-structured domain is a domain where there are concepts, but the way those concepts are instantiated in the real world are hugely variable, and messy as hell. Business, medicine, arts ...

Ex ... heart attacks: A heart attack is a concept. It is a thing you can study in medical textbooks. But actual diagnosis of heart attacks can be hugely variable — it depends on the patient’s race, age, gender, case history, potential complications, and so on; some heart attacks present as indigestion initially, others may last days.

In these domains the experts look more like artist than scientists. 


846 reads

In Ill-Structured Domains, Cases Are As If Not More Important Than Concepts

In traditional education we are taught a concept, and then the examples that illustrate that concept are treated as disposable. In STEM fields you’ll see engineers evaluating quality of thinking with a dismissive “you’re not thinking from first principles”. 

But n an ill-structured domain, then reasoning from first principles is very difficult. And that experts in ill-structured domains reason by comparison to previous casesnot by reference to first principles.


665 reads

Using CFT

Using CFT

Get exposes to as many cases for each concept as is feasibly possible, so you have a large collection of fragments to assemble from. Then build bottoms up (addaptive).


  1. Pick a note taking app with backlinking capabilities.
  2. Start copying cases into your note taking app. Mark up particular passages with concepts or case features.
  3. Force to practice ‘schema assembly of fragments’. Use questions like “how is Case A like Case B but not like Case C” and “find surprising differences between cases that appear similar".


720 reads



Life-long learner. Passionate about leadership, entrepreneurship, philosophy, Buddhism & SF. Founder @deepstash.


How do you make learn in domains with fuzzy rules?


Explore the World’s

Best Ideas

200,000+ ideas on pretty much any topic. Created by the smartest people around & well-organized so you can explore at will.

An Idea for Everything

Explore the biggest library of insights. And we've infused it with powerful filtering tools so you can easily find what you need.

Knowledge Library

Powerful Saving & Organizational Tools

Save ideas for later reading, for personalized stashes, or for remembering it later.

# Personal Growth

Take Your Ideas


Organize your ideas & listen on the go. And with Pro, there are no limits.

Listen on the go

Just press play and we take care of the words.

Never worry about spotty connections

No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.

Get Organized with Stashes

Ideas for your next work project? Quotes that inspire you? Put them in the right place so you never lose them.


2 Million Stashers


5,740 Reviews

App Store


72,690 Reviews

Google Play

Sean Green

Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.

Ashley Anthony

This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!

Shankul Varada

Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.


Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.

Jamyson Haug

Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.

Laetitia Berton

I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!

Giovanna Scalzone

Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.

Ghazala Begum

Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.

Read & Learn

20x Faster





Access to 200,000+ ideas

Access to the mobile app

Unlimited idea saving & library

Unlimited history

Unlimited listening to ideas

Downloading & offline access

Personalized recommendations

Supercharge your mind with one idea per day

Enter your email and spend 1 minute every day to learn something new.


I agree to receive email updates