Confused On How To Manage Your Notes? Try This Simple Workflow.

If you ever took notes on an article, video, or podcast and had no idea do with it, you're in the right place. Many existing solutions suggest adding tags, and creating many layers of nested folders. But oftentimes we find ourselves with folders with too many files or tags with too few membersits not natural to organize things in groupsIt's not intuitive for us to organize things by groups (e.g. folders and tags) because the brain is a network fo ideas.. The fault isn't in the person but in the note-taking system itself.

My goal is to create a simplesimple solutions are often the bestComplicated solutions often require a lot of time and effort. We want to use the simplest solution that solves our needs and nothing more. workflow where the content of the note organizes the note. This effectively eliminates the third step when taking notes: organize the note we wrote.

  1. Pull out our note-taking tool of choice
  2. Put our thoughts into words
  3. Organize the note we wrote

Connect Ideas to Organize Notes

Since the brain is a network of ideasthe brain is a network of ideasOur work through a network of neurons and these connections are strengthened based on the use which is why if you dont use it, you lose it.,over%20multiple%20scales%20of%20time, we can take advantage of that by similarly structuring our notes. Therefore, we create notes that extend our brain. Because notes are organized more intuitively, finding notes is as simple as following a train of thoughtfollowing a train of thoughtfollowing a train of thought is akin to traversing a network of ideas. One idea can lead to a number of connected ideas, which is why notes/having more connections is better.

One trap that people fall victim to is organizing notes with categories. We want to organize through ideas because they are interoperableinteroperable components are efficientBecause interoperabile components are self-contained, they can be reused in different situations and are easily maintainable (changing one, updates all). Related: notes/reuse code for efficiency and maintainability. Categories are too broad and aren't interoperable. As an example:

Bad Links: [[work]], [[notes]], [[school]], [[food]]

Great Links: [[notes are written to free space in the brain]] [[working to live or living to work depends on how meaningful someone finds their jobs]]

See How to organize notes with linksHow to Create Useful Links with ZettelkastenThe linking feature of Zettelkasten is one of its most defining features, yet, it's the least understood. Linking ideas should be natural for us, but a lifetime of organization with the tree structure has made it difficult to adopt this new form of organization. To make links useful, we'll need to unlearn our old habits. This is an entire paradigm shift, so don't expect it to be easy. Don't group things, connect them The biggest mistake—and one I've made myself—is linking with categories. In o for more info.

Workflow #1 (Internet Browsing)

  1. I find an interesting quote or read an article (e.g. an article about remembering more things)
  2. I think of one idea and put it in its most generic form with Fleeting Notes
  3. If I’m feeling like I have a lot of time, I fill in some extra context about my idea and add links. Sometimes I can’t think of an idea so I just fill in a blurb of my thoughts in the content section.
  4. I create the note and link the source by clicking “Add Source URL” in my chrome extension.
  5. My “fleeting notes” are automatically synced to Obsidian by following this guide

Workflow #2 (Meeting/Lecture Notes)

  1. In Obsidian, under my daily notes I add a header for the meeting im in (e.g. Meeting with X, Physics Kinematics Lecture, etc.)
  2. Under this heading I go all out and just write. If I have time I add links and subheaders to organize my notes
  3. When I do ever come to review my notes, I add links whenever I think of ideas.