How to Take Smart Notes

  • Elaboration is the most important learning method
  • Elaboration is the technique of connecting to other topics
  • Page based KPIs do not work well for non fiction
  • Thinking requires internalization
  • Forgetting is actually our brain filtering
  • Elaboration connects new knowledge to old knowledge more effectively
  • Note sequences are important
  • It is ok to assign context-relevant keywords sparingly
  • Lehmans system is especially good at finding structural patterns between two systems
  • The slip box acts like a nit picking partner
  • The slip box allows you to get feedback without another person
  • The value of the slip box is interconnected ideas
  • P75 Raw quotes require context that isn’t there - use them soaringly
  • P79 Explicitly note counterarguments
  • The goal of the slip box system is to create causal connections
  • Literature notes need to be resummarizations
  • Oral arguments allow you to get away with unfounded claims
  • Reading without taking notes enables you to make unfounded claims to yourself
  • Effective reading techniques mirror effective teaching techniques
    • <This needs an example>
  • Slipboxes help surface and make explicit paradoxes which let us know the edge of a paradigm
  • The slip box should allow you to encode the most powerful concepts in each discipline
  • Create a latticework of theories and mental models to stick information to
  • The five techniques to understand things are
  • Elaboration
  • Variation
  • Spacing
  • Contextual interference
  • Retrieval
  • Comparison and little differences lead to breakthroughs
  • Ask about counterfactuals
  • It is better for complexity to be from the system, not the components of the system
  • p130 - literature notes should be of the form “on page X it says Y”
  • p131- structured systems allow you to compare ideas
  • p133 - brainstorming was invented in 1919
  • p133 - brains more easily remember things that have emotional content and are recent Thinking Fast and Slow
  • p136 Familiarity with the details of a subject let you be creative
  • p136 - when you’re writing, it is important to be able to opporunistically change objective

Author

Sönke Ahrens

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