From note-taking to note-making

Note-taking has played an important role in human history. Ancient Greeks used the word hypomnema (ὑπόμνημα) to describe what could be translated as a note, a reminder, or an anecdotal record. Before the development of digital devices, people used marginalia and commonplace books to take notes. Of course, note-taking has been central to education. Students …

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How to take notes while reading a book

It’s easier to take notes when we’re listening to content. That’s because our hands are free and we can focus on writing down whatever seems important to remember. However, when reading a book, taking notes interrupts our reading flow. It means there is a fine balance between taking too many notes—and reading extremely slowly—and taking …

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How to take smart notes

While there are hundreds of thousands of books on the generic topic of writing, very few concerns themselves with note-taking—perhaps because it’s not considered an intellectually challenging task by many, or perhaps because many people don’t realise how bad they are at taking notes. Looking at a blank page and struggling to find inspiration? Experts …

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You and your mind garden

In French, “cultiver son jardin intérieur” means to tend to your internal garden—to take care of your mind. The garden metaphor is particularly apt: taking care of your mind involves cultivating your curiosity (the seeds), growing your knowledge (the trees), and producing new thoughts (the fruits). On the surface, it’s a repetitive process. You need …

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