Day 17 - The Crucial Note Taking Principles I Follow to Stay Sane

When taking notes on anything, I follow these rules ruthlessly.

1. Capture Fleeting Thoughts and Ideas Generously

Whenever something pops into my head, I write it down in my daily notes. I can do this after sitting down and pondering about a topic for a while using pen & paper or capture things on the go, while in traffic, coming out from the shower or after a great conversation.

See How I Capture Thoughts and Tasks without distracting myself

2. Every Note Has a home

Every piece of writing belongs somewhere. If there is no well defined place, it goes to my daily notes.

3. Letting an Idea Age

Every now and then, I get bestowed upon a million dollar idea.

Turns out 90% of those are trash. That’s why I make sure those ideas stay in my daily note until I’ve slept on it for few days. If it then still feels important, I can extract it. Or not.

This is crucial to avoid cluttering your notes.

4. Make it Discoverable

Anything not relevant now, might turn out to be useful later on.

That’s why I ensure future me can stumble upon it.

In Obsidian, I use #tags to make a piece of writing findable. This enables me to dig in my pile of notes and discover hidden gems.

5. The Structure Will Emerge

Note-taking sounds easy, but requires a systematic approach.

At least, after you’ve done it for a while. Don’t worry. Start writing things down now and see how your structure will slowly emerge by itself.

First published on Typeshare