February 6, 2021•446 words
I read for two reasons:
I often feel like note-taking gets in the way of my reading. I need to maximize reading's two values simultaneously, not sacrifice one for the other.
Today, I spent about half an hour reading an article from Foreign Affairs on the ongoing and future US/China "cold war." The reason it took me this long is that I was highlighting and annotating while I read - but more importantly, I spent a while after I read the article just summarizing the three important points that the author of the article made. Not only do I feel as though I understand much better what I read, but I feel like I had more fun actually reading the article; I think, and this is just a guess, that conscious consumption is actually a lot more fun for me than unconscious consumption.
Anyway, here's a prototype system I have for taking notes:
Articles, posts, etc.
- Get articles through RSS feed or apps
- Get articles into a usable form (i.e. a form that I can mark up with little effort)
- printing will definitely have the best resuslts (easiest, most pleasant experience, with plenty of space to annotate)
- but for portability and simplicity reasons, I may want to (a) save it as a PDF and annotate on a device or (b) email it to my kindle.
- I will ask around for digital note-taking tips
- Annotate (short reminders of ideas I have while reading) and highlight as I read
- Summarize/write up salient points in my own words, along with other notes, further research topics/questions, etc.
- Figure out what to do with the summary points (hopefully one day I will have a zettelkasten to move some of this stuff into)
- Get books (ebooks or print) on kindle or in print
- Read and annotate in chapter-long sessions
- At the end of the chapter summarize and do what I do with articles
- Figure out what to do with all this.
- Get podcast episodes via RSS, subscription, or recommendation
- Take airrquotes and use the 'hey siri, create a new note' feature (siri is only enabled when I have wireless headphones, so this may not work in every context
- Dictate my takeaways, summary, and review my airrquotes in a note
- Figure out what to do with info/notes/all this.
And by notes, I mean... well, infomation in a brief format? The idea of 'Notes' is rather abstract, so I'll have to put some thoughts into what they are and different types. That is definitely something interesting to explore.