How to Take Notes Like an Alpha-Geek (Plus: My $2,600 Date + Challenge) - Deepstash

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How to Take Notes Like an Alpha-Geek (Plus: My $2,600 Date + Challenge)

https://tim.blog/2007/12/05/how-to-take-notes-like-an-alpha-geek-plus-my-2600-date-challenge/#

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How to Take Notes Like an Alpha-Geek (Plus: My $2,600 Date + Challenge)
I take notes like some people take drugs. There is an eight-foot stretch of shelves in my house containing nothing but full notebooks. Some would call this hypergraphia (Dostoevsky was a member of this club), but I trust the weakest pen more than the strongest memory, and note taking is-in my ex...

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Indexing systems

Information is useful only to the extent that you can find it when you need it. 

For a non-paginated pad, you can:

  • Put page numbers on the upper-right of each right-hand page but not on the left (e.g., 1, 2, 3, etc.). 
  • Whenever you complete a page, put the page number in an index on the inside cover (front or back) and a few words to describe the content.
  • The page numbers in the index do NOT need to be in order, as you’ll be scanning for content, then referring to the page. 

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Taking notes requires a balance

Taking notes requires a balance

It’s easier to take notes when we’re listening to content because our hands are free. But when reading a book, taking notes interrupts our reading flow.

There is a balance between taking t...

Consider why you want to take notes

Before you start taking notes, ask yourself what your goal is.

  • Paper versus digital. If your goal is to study the content of a book, paper is better. But if your goal is to be able to reference certain parts of the book easily, an ebook may be better suited.
  • Serendipity versus control. When you want to take notes to read them for pleasure afterwards, highlighting and marginalia could be more suited. But if rediscovery is your desire, a structured system, such as an index of the key ideas, may be better.
  • Learning versus creating. If you want to learn from a book, your notes will be factual, but if you're going to create your own content, your notes will be more original.

Capture key ideas without interrupting your reading flow

Taking notes should not become a tedious process, but it should be made as seamless as possible.

  • If you are reading a physical book, write down main ideas or questions in the margins. Try to keep it very short. If you are reading an ebook, highlight the essential parts and write a few words to add contextual information.
  • If your goal is to learn or reference your notes in the future, you may want to stop at the end of each chapter and collate the ideas separately from the text. This can be done on the inside cover of the book, or on a separate index card, where you rewrite the key ideas with the corresponding page numbers.

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Note-taking: a powerful tool for learning

  • Notes extend your memories: writing can be seen as an external enhancement of your brain, allowing you to think more complicated thoughts and solve harder problems.
  • Not...

Figure out your purpose

Ask yourself why are you reading:

  • What am I trying to remember? 
  • How am I going to use this information? (e.g. on a test, cited in an essay, etc.)
  • What do I plan to do with the notes later? Will you be studying off of them extensively? Or maybe you’re just taking notes to stay focused, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll look through them after?

Strategies for note-taking

  • Jot notes in the margin. These aren’t particularly searchable, but they allow you to reiterate the main idea.
  • Keep a small notepad on the side, take breaks each section to jot down the main ideas. 
  • Create flashcards. In the rarer situations where memorization of details is important, then a simple strategy can be to just create flashcards while you take notes. 

Note Taking - Starter Tips

Preparation steps before a note-taking session:

  • Try to get familiar with the topic that is going to be discussed, beforehand. This leads to better understanding.
  • M...

Outline Method

Taking a structured approach to note-taking is the best way. Put the outline notes by choosing four or five key points of the lecture, followed by in-depth sub-points. One way to review is to use the Cornell Method, which divides the note sheet into three sections:

  • Cues: It includes key questions and main points.
  • Notes: Which you write during the class using the outline method. 
  • Summary: Which you can write after class while reviewing.

The Mind Map

The mind map is a visual diagram of abstract concepts.

It works best in subjects like chemistry, history and philosophy, subjects having a neural network like interlocked and complex topics.