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How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers Kindle Edition
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The author draws on a variety of research dealing with attention, learning, cognition, etc. to make an argument for the "slip box" note-taking system (or "Zettelkasten" as made famous by prolific sociologist Niklas Luhmann). I tend to think of these types of books as "self-help" for academics, but in the best way. Reading this book opened my eyes to the habits and practices that will best help me reflect and digest the reading I do, and productively summarize and apply it to my research and writing. This process has already helped me to read more effectively, by focusing on what in the given text is relevant to what I already know or am puzzling about. I'm deeply convinced by this iterative and generative process of knowledge-production.
If you're an academic or other knowledge worker who struggles with how to usefully organize and engage with the massive amounts of information that we all accumulate, this is the book for you. If you feel that the notes you take on things often get lost (in your organizing system) or become incomprehensible after time has passed, this book is for you. If you are interested in methods and practices for streamlining and optimizing your knowledge work (GTD-followers, I'm looking at you), buy this book! ;)
This book is like coming out. It's like when you are gay, finally accepting that you are gay and start loving yourself. Or like when you don't want kids for any reason, for example when having them would mean financial burden and slavery in the corporate america for the rest of your life, and somebody tells you that it's OK not to have kids at all unless you feel like it.
This book tells you that it's OK to live life as you want it and tells it in a way, that is accepted immediately as common sense, but until I read it - I was so lost in the dark.
P.S. Most of the bad reviews concerned with the fact that the book "promotes" some pieces of software. Yes, it indirectly does. But it's strictly complementary to the topic, rather to help reader with tools. All of the software is FREE and open source.
The only area I wish the author would expand on is the usage scenarios of the software tools in support of the Zettelkasten method.