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Knowledge Needs a Way to Be Remembered.

publishedover 1 year ago
1 min read

A system to store it, a workflow to maintain it, and it starts with a note.



“Left unwritten, knowledge will surely be forgotten.

It needs a place less ephemeral than the mind, more organized than a pile of post-its, and more flexible than a file cabinet.

Knowledge needs a system and it starts with a note.”

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Note-taking isn't just a method of storing information.

It's the process of understanding what you read and think. It creates entry points into your memory by giving you context and clues. With a proper system, those ideas can be connected in a way that ideas bubble up organically and effortlessly.

Notes are simply how knowledge is remembered.

Attempting to implement the Zettelkasten method. I’ve learned how little I actually retain from my reading. “How to Take Smart Notes” is transforming my reading and writing.

Here’s a look at what I’ve built so far in Obsidian



“A mental note, a scribble on a napkin, or a sophisticated literature are where ideas begin and, sadly, where most die. Without a proper place to collect, system to organize, and workflow to process these great ideas unavoidably disappear into the ether form which it came.” — Sönke Ahrens, How to Take Smart Notes"

My current workflow is in its infancy but already yielding crazy results.

Types of notes:

  • Fleeting
  • Literature, reference, or source
  • Permanent

Fleeting notes are normally written in my bullet journal or pocket notebook and then written into an Obsidian note as literature, reference, or source notes which are 2-3 sentences.

At the end of the day, I review all notes and attempt to create a single permanent note of 300-500 words.

It’s proving to be a difficult habit to establish, but I think one that will be worth it.



Read as if to write.

Artists have a vast appreciation for other artists. It is through their own obsessional observance that they improve their own craft. It's subtle, they don't replicate but integrate.

Highlighting is replicating, but note-taking is integrating.

Until next time,

Josh Duffney