How to Write a Note

Here’s how to write permanent notes based on How to Take Smart Notes.

  1. Write out the main idea succinctly and in your own words
  2. Look for connections between this note and other notes
  3. Ask questions about your understanding of the note:
    • What does this mean?
    • Why is it important?
    • What is missing?
    • What question does this raise?
    • What would disprove it?
    • What other possibilities could there be? If the same or similar note exists, how is it different? (Write a note about the difference).
  4. Write a list of related notes and summarize the connection in a sentence (I try to link to the note inline or in a section “See Also”)
  5. Review existing areas of inquiry and link them to the index of that note (structure note about a topic or question)

See also:

  • Motivation for Taking Notes Comes from the Output

    What you intend to do with your notes is the thing that motivates you to take notes in the first place. The act of taking notes can be enough when getting started, there needs to be something more to keep going year after year.