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I way back stopped studying books on note-taking. They had been at all times too obscure and boring, stuffed with platitudes that had little to do with the world outdoors academia. I particularly prevented “how-to” type books on the topic.

They’d usually record dozens of ideas and tips that had little to do with one another. There was by no means an overarching system for turning notes into concrete outcomes.

However just lately I picked up How To Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens. Ahrens is a Lecturer in Philosophy of Training on the College of Duisburg-Essen and likewise coaches college students, lecturers, and professionals with a give attention to time administration, decision-making, and private progress.

It’s by far essentially the most impactful and profound e book I’ve ever learn on the topic. I used to be astounded to come across in its pages (with uncanny similarity) lots of the similar ideas I had found over 10 years of private expertise.

This e book is so stuffed with insights that it broke my standard method to summarizing books.

My method is predicated on the idea that almost all books are just a few morsels of actual perception wrapped in layers and layers of fluff. As I learn, I systematically unravel these layers of fluff and extract solely these insights, like a chemist distilling solely the purest compound.

However this e book is just not written within the standard method. It’s written utilizing an exterior pondering system, which I name a Second Brain.

The proof is evident: As an alternative of compressing as many pages as potential out of 1 concept, How To Take Good Notes squeezes as many concepts as potential onto each web page. Each paragraph has some extent, and I struggled to go away something out of this abstract.

By figuring out the ideas that stand the check of time regardless of big adjustments within the underlying expertise, we will higher perceive the important nature of the inventive course of. We are able to focus our efforts on mastering the artwork of inventive note-taking, producing extra insightful writing, and fulfilling our full potential.

What the e book is about

How To Take Good Notes is a e book on note-taking for college students, lecturers, and non-fiction writers.

It guarantees to assist readers undertake “a dependable and easy exterior construction to assume in that compensates for the restrictions of our brains.” By adopting such a system, Ahrens guarantees that we can “effectively flip our ideas and discoveries into convincing written items and construct up a treasure of good and interconnected notes alongside the best way.”

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Whereas producing printed written works is the tip objective, is it not the one objective. Ahrens argues convincingly that turning one’s ideas into writing isn’t simply helpful for writers however for anybody who needs to enhance their pondering and studying basically.

By specializing in writing, Ahrens is ready to communicate in concrete phrases a couple of particular inventive course of whereas concurrently drawing common conclusions. As an alternative of notes changing into a “graveyard for ideas,” they will develop into a life-long pool of wealthy and interconnected concepts we will draw on irrespective of the place our pursuits lead us.

Luhmann’s slip-box

Ahrens’ method to note-taking was impressed by the 20th-century German sociologist Niklas Luhmann (1927-1998). Luhmann was a prolific note-taker, author, and tutorial. Early in his tutorial profession, Luhmann realized {that a} be aware was solely as invaluable as its context – its community of associations, relationships, and connections to different data.