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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Holiday gift guide for the curious minds

What kind of present can you give to your friend who’s naturally driven by curiosity? For the kind of person who enjoys seeking knowledge and learning new things? This year, not everyone will be able to spend the holiday together, so this gift guide will mainly focus on digital gifts for people who want to …

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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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Interview: Using books to navigate life with Juvoni Beckford

A few months ago, a tweet popped up on my timeline, where Juvoni Beckford shared an incredible achievement: reading 450 books over the course of a decade. As someone who loves reading and thinks that everyone would benefit from reading more books—whether fiction or nonfiction—I was understandably impressed by Juvoni’s consistency. Juvoni Beckford is a …

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Adjacent skills: how to widen your career perspective

Gone are the days of linear career trajectories. Most people will live several work lives, and careers have become increasingly mobile. While deep expertise in a given domain can lead to a successful career, it is also a more rigid approach which may limit the number of lateral opportunities. In contrast, adjacent skills can open …

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The science of deliberate practice

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “practice makes perfect” is “said to encourage someone to continue to do something many times, so that they will learn to do it very well.” But does practice really make perfect? We tend to see practice as tireless repetition of the same task, where the goal is to progressively become …

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Constructive criticism: how to give and receive feedback

Whether in our personal or professional lives, we are constantly giving and receiving feedback. Some of the feedback is subtle, often unconscious, and some of it is proactive. Being able to receive and to offer constructive feedback is an essential skill in building meaningful social relationships.  In addition, research suggests that meaningful feedback is crucial …

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Fail like a scientist

Working on a new project, learning a new skill, trying a new experience—getting out of your comfort zone can be both exciting and frightening. Our fear of failure can be driven by many factors, including a fixed mindset or a fear of being judged. How can you overcome this fear? By learning to fail like …

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Productive cognitive load: make the most of your working memory

There’s only so much we can hold into our working memory—the system our brain uses to temporarily hold information while we manipulate it. The amount of working memory we use at any given moment is called the cognitive load. While both are theoretical concepts used in psychology and neuroscience, they have profound implications when it …

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The power of spaced repetition

Many startups are offering learning products based on dubious claims. While the neuroscience of learning is pretty well understood in terms of underlying biological mechanisms, very few interventions have been proven to have a positive impact on these processes. In a sea of unproven strategies, spaced repetition is the strongest evidence-based learning technique. The concept …

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