I wrote this post on reddit on my notetaking system: https://www.reddit.com/r/LifeProTips/comments/55qcug/lptr_what_are_some_good_note_taking_methods/d9ajwns/?context=3

I got kind of fed up with all the mediocre outdated notetaking systems out there, so I just made up my own notetaking system. I call it the AnacondaPython notetaking method. Revolves around 2 main concepts:

  1. Whip out a infinitely scalable diagram for any level of complex ideas (unstructured) - ShareX + Greenshot
  2. Bring in a infinitely scalable note platform to bring order of note structures (structured) - Markdown + app.classeur.io

Doesn’t matter if you are writing a PhD dissertation for a problem that hasn’t even been solved yet, a 1000 page manual, or only or a short blurb of notes, or notes in class, this method applies anywhere.

It doesn’t have any downsides except it can be kind of slow formatting notes. You do need reliable internet and a okay PC though

however you don’t face limitations like:

  • sloppy handwriting
  • Cornell notes limited by how big a piece of paper is
  • No where to store poorly written notes and or bad notes
  • Complex notetaking solutions that scale poorly like onenote
  • Stuff that isn’t relevant to what you are learning related to software
  • Run out of pages or notespace

This assumes you aren’t taking notes in class though. You still would have to use pen and paper usually in that instance, cornell method is what I would use on top of everything

Here’s how it works:

  1. ShareX + Greenshot. You use this to make diagrams for nonlinearly notes. Like any time you would draw a diagram you run it through this program. Alternatively you can draw stuff on paper , take a picture of it, and link it. Here’s an example diagram: http://i.imgur.com/e0IuMHj.png
  2. Markdown. This gives you more control of how your notes will appear. You can run plugins on your browser too. This is what my notes look like: http://i.imgur.com/krgMYIQ.gif

ADVANTAGES

The advantage of this notetaking method is you can take notes however you feel like, capture any piece of information you want in the world, in an infinitely scalable organized form

  1. youtube notes
  2. Class online notes
  3. Coding notes
  4. CAD notes and how-tos
  5. Additional notes from other sources like wikipedia on top of your notes in class
  6. Scan handwritten notes in class into markdown and annotate the PDF/image there too. Then you can add text as well
  7. Adding gifs
  8. Adding any camera images on your phone into your notes
  9. Can instantly refresh notes and organize however many notes you want, access them anywhere you want (e.g. smartphone), and even use it as a portfolio too all in one-go
  10. Easily organized - I can search my blog notes via CTRL+F, tags, categories, ETC super easily
  11. Infinite levels of note-retention. I can learn as much as I want without the fear of trying to tackle on too many things at once, or worrying about forgetting subjects / content over time
  12. Improved levels of feedback. By making a diagram and being able to screenshot anything on my PC, I can clearly see where my gaps of knowledge are and what I do and don’t understand. Its very similar to making a cheatsheet before an exam
  13. Note progression. You can physically see the notes you’ve made and appreciate all the hard work behind it, leading to longer levels of note retention. Especially diagrams

OTHER

You can combine it with a blog as well to add extra levels of ways of organizing content

Once you have a firm grasp of whatever your learning you can always opt to make youtube/OBS/screencast videos detailing what you’ve learned (e.g. teaching as a form of learning)

you can see how I organize some of my notes (a lot of my condensed summary notes are here):

http://www.tangycode.com/

SIDE NOTE

This applies the principle of “memory palace”. My memorable palace are all the diagrams I’ve made. http://mt.artofmemory.com/wiki/How_to_Build_a_Memory_Palace. I think its better than a memory palace since it doesn’t rely on arbitrary locations / places, leading to longer term retention levels

Vincent Tang

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2016-10-27