Taginformation system

🔖 John Locke’s Method for Common-Place Books (archive)

Make an index page that has all the alphabets listed, with sub-divisions for each alphabet+vowel combination. When a new item is added add the page number it was added on in the corresponding row.

Since its not just alphabetical there are fewer pages you need to check to find what you’re looking for. And, since its not purely chronological there is a higher chance that items with the same prefix are closer together.

Index in one of John Locke’s commonplace books, based on his “new method” (Bodleian Library, Oxford, Ms. Locke f. 18, 110-111).

Looking at this image I see that a single page isn’t dedicated to an alphabet+vowel combination and that it would have a variety of combinations, and thus a variety of topics.

How to Take Smart Notes

I’ve always found writing to be an impossibly hard thing to do. So, for the last few years I’ve been trying to learn and practice it more often.

Cover of the book 'How to Take Smart Notes'

I’ve also always felt like I have thoughts that I never really know how to express. I’m amazed when other people are able to say the things that I am thinking more clearly than the way I’ve been thinking them. I see that people who’ve studied at good universities, or are generally smarter than me are just able to do this. When I discovered this book — How to take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens — I didn’t expect it would have anything to do with this, but it ended up giving me an insight into the learning and writing process of academics.

The book describes an external system for reading, thinking, and writing. It argues that moving things into an external system enables learning and frees up our brains. By putting things in an external system, we give our brains permission to forget and focus instead on thinking.

The gist of the system is:

  1. While reading, make notes using your own words. Only when we’ve actually understood the material can we express it in our own words
  2. Link these notes with other notes that could be related — this helps uncover patterns. Forming these connections also helps our memory, and recall becomes easier in the correct context
Continue reading “How to Take Smart Notes”

Scrivener is a writing tool that brings together your notes and research.

  • Allows composing text in small chunks that can be reordered later
  • Outlining tools for planning and restructuring
  • Create collections of documents in the project based on metadata and completion
  • A corkboard to see and move around sections of your writing, or to look at your research.

❤️ Scrivener

Workflowy is a list that contains infinite lists.

  • Organizes information as a fractal document
  • Each bullet point can be a document of its own that has bullet points inside it ad infinitum
  • Navigate between bullet points and focus on one small part at a time.

❤️ Workflowy

Are.na: Puts all your ideas in context.

  • Blocks are used to collect pieces of information
  • Channels are used to organize and contextualize them
  • Channels can be shared with multiple members

❤️ Are.na

TiddlyWiki: A non-linear personal web notebook.

  • Index cards that are linked to each other using [[]] this creates a relationship
  • Tags can be added to index cards and offer easy navigation to other cards with the same tag
  • Transclusion lets you copy an index card’s content into another’s
  • Lists can be created with queries

❤️ TiddlyWiki

Roam Research: A note taking tool for networked thought.

  • Documents can be created on the fly by # tagging or [[]] linking to them.
  • Documents have an indented list structure
  • Tagging and linking creates relationships, the documents are classified by being linked to other documents.
  • Templates for todos, date pickers and other things
  • Daily notes that are created automatically.
  • Graph overview of all the documents and their relationships

❤️ Roam Research

Are.na organizes information in Blocks (of content, kind of like articles, notes or bookmarks) and Channels (kind of like tags). They’ve made it easy move around, play, and explore content within their system. This encourages empathy towards other perspectives and the ability to recognize contextual patterns. By doing so they want to create a version of the Internet where…

We have (most of) the world’s information at our fingertips, so what do we want to do with all that? How do we make that information our own? How can we start to break all these facts down and re-shape them into something new?

🔖 Are.na Blog / Information System