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Day 17: My Crucial Note Taking Principles

Last updated Jan 23, 2023

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