Writing a Good Note in the End

  • In my view, a good note is the product of a process involving long thinking and construction.
    • The moment you build your understanding and make knowledge relevant to yourself is when the note is born.
    • With depth and personal feelings and emotions built in.
    • It’s not just simple writing, like an article to the editor. It’s a self-explanation of a complex idea.
      • Like now, I am explaining the idea of what a good note is.
  • I write notes in an outliner format, and it has everything that linear text has.
    • The introduction, the body, the arguments (if there are any), the conclusion, and the breadcrumbs tail, which may or may not lead somewhere else.
      • The breadcrumbs tail could actually be references and sources, not only those I used but also those I failed to use.
  • Edmund Gröpl[1] suggests a similar approach.
    • He speculates that information should be presented and prioritized in a well-structured way.
      • Title: Which must be clear and descriptive.
      • Lead Paragraph: With 2-3 sentences that set the tone of the whole piece.
        • The note-taker should include the 5Ws and 1H: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.
        • Look at my first 5 bullet points. They are essentially the lead paragraph if I rewrite them in a linear fashion.
      • Body: It’s the place where we delve into details of what we are speculating about.
      • Tail: It’s the reference part in my note. Its sole purpose is to point the direction where to look for additional details. It mainly consists of background info and other content similar to it.
      • Black Matter: Tasks, instructions, questions, reflection, and other stuff that happens in the real world.
        • This is the first time I’ve seen this terminology in any note-taking process. But it nicely describes the goal it’s aimed at. To think more about what I’ve written and simplified for myself. The noting is the process of simplifying the complexity of phenomena through writing.

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