Sönke Ahrens has written a book How to Take Smart Notes that could completely revolutionise how you go about this deceptively simple task. This episode digs into a slightly different area of lifestyle – reading, writing, and thinking. It doesn’t matter if you are an academic, a student, a non-fiction writer or just someone who wants to understand anything at a deeper level then you’ll get a lot from this episode.
It builds on the ‘slip box’ technique (Zettelkasten) used by a professor of sociology, Niklas Luhmann, in the late 20th century. It’s well know to academics in Germany and in the sociology field, amongst others, but has made little impact beyond those borders. Sönke’s book is a detailed explanation of the technique but also builds on the evidence in areas such as education, multi-tasking, ego depletion and willpower, and problems such as confirmation bias. It’s a complete system that can allow anyone to build their own ‘second brain’ in a Zettelkasten to think more deeply and be more productive. What’s not to like about that?
Jump to description of Luhmann’s slip box – 16.49
I also mentioned nvALT and Brett Terpstra. If you are looking for a simple and effective notekeeping software then you should check it out – it was used to form the backbone of The Archive software that I am using for my own Zettelkasten.
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