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Author Topic: The Merits of Notetaking  (Read 1020 times)

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Offline legomaestro

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The Merits of Notetaking
« on: February 15, 2017, 12:05:51 PM »
The Merits of Note-Taking

Note-taking - Sounds like a bother right? It is, actually, especially when you're working with a bulky book. And how do you note something down in public without seeming weird? Well, it's something that you'll have to fight through, because I am quite convinced that it is worth the trouble because of

1- That Good Old 'Achievement Unlocked' Feel
Looking back in my drawer and seeing my five fully filled notebooks, I have a certain amount of pride at how much I've written down. Going through them is always like an adventure where I rediscover myself, and I can with testimony from friends say that it made me better in the langauge I'm learning now. 

I'd love to brag even more than that, but even beyond that pride, it's simply fun to be able to go through what you yourself have noted down over time. Like a sketchbook, a notebook is an important marker for your progress in life and writing.

2- It's useful
Yes, it is. It's not just a fancy thing: For those who are much more organized than the slobby mess I have, it can definitely be a force to reckon with. As it is, my notebooks have saved my hide by holding my address (I keep on forgetting my post number, sue me.) and some important contacts that I'm not necessarily social with.

Since my notebooks end up getting filled and filed away in my closet anyhow, they're perfect for writing down useful information that you need only on certain rainy days. You really can't beat that simple fact.

3. Laying fuel for a fire.
All a story needs is a spark- and note-taking is the wood, the thatch, the petrol. I've been slacking  in the past few days when it comes to taking notes, but I'll never stop the regimen. Not only does it help me achieve some level of organization, I am rarely caught off guard by random bouts of inspiration (Although, I'll need something water proof for the cursed shower-time muses. Not to mention just when I'm about to sleep). These can in turn become actual projects to work on later.

Flipping through my latest book right now, I see a weird squiggly arrow with a name:

HAVERON Hack Corp - A white hat hacking corp.

It's not much, but that's a story idea, and I barely remember having it. But there it is, ready to be either procrastinated on forever, or somehow incorporated into another story in the future. It's all there ready for me to work with it as I please.

4. You develop your own style.
Like drawing, taking notes takes up a style of its own. I drool over the possibilities suggested by the Sketch noting guru Mike Rhode – (You should look up his book if you can. Read it twice. And I will again) I'd also recommend checking out pinterest for doodles and icons.

If you work at this long enough, you can really get into a certain flow of things and style for when it comes to taking notes. Having switched my notebook types and pens, I'm still not set on what mediums I want to use so I can't quite find a style that works, but it's coming along. But I've already developed basic notation for various things, and I've even thrown in a little sketching when I have the time. It really helps crystallize your thoughts.

There's no saving my handwriting, but taking notes opens new doors for me when it comes to writing.

5. Teaches you to listen and shows attention.
It does get awkward when you have to take notes in certain conversations, but on the other hand, it forces you to really listen, and can sometimes have a nice impression - From my personal experience. Yes, It sounds like a vain reason to take notes, but there I said it okay? It looks good. But you do learn to slow down and give yourself some moments to actually write out what you hear and see.
Though nothing beats being in a conversation and actively taking part, it's several times better than bringing up a phone in the middle of a talk, or tuning out. Also, bonus points for people who aren't that good at making eye contact - like yours truly. It's the best escape card ever.

To be honest, I don't remember everything that I note down, nor do I 100% google and reread everything that's there in the book. These facts however don't cancel out how useful note taking has been for me. It's been quite a bother more than once, but I'm learning to take it in a stride, and soon it'll really become second nature to me. After all, it's been instrumental to me in learning a new language, so I'll never underestimate the importance.

A little about materials

I should probably actively research this and compare notes with others, but as far as I see it first thing you need is a pocket-sized notebook.

Something without lines is better, but if it can fit in your pocket that's heaven. Any bigger and it's always going to be bulky. I made that mistake with my most recent book and though I have more space to write on I have to carry it in my bag or I'll end up forgetting it. And wowee I would not like people to read what I have in there haha.

- Avoid ballpoints at all costs. They're hell to write with. You absolutely need to be able to glide across the page - Get an inky pen, a marker or even a pencil at the very least. Something that doesn't bleed through the page of course, but it's important for writing to always be smooth and practical.

- Your phone is your friend. Use it. If you've got a smart phone with any note keeping capabilities then that's your friend. Though the temptation to just google things and not take any notes is strong so be careful- Only have it for emergency note taking. Also, looking down at your phone and writing almost never looks like you're taking notes, so it's surprisingly not as flexible for real-time-during-conversation note taking.

- I have a funny thing where I want to buy something more expensive than normal for my note taking, as a sort of way to force me to take notes and not let the beautiful paper go to waste. What do you think of that? That sounds like another topic for another day. For now, I am done.

My two pennies