The Power of Inspiration and Programmable Notes in Learning and Note-Taking


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 05, 2023

3 min read


The Power of Inspiration and Programmable Notes in Learning and Note-Taking


Learning is a natural process driven by inspiration and curiosity. When we are inspired, we are motivated to acquire knowledge and explore new ideas. However, traditional education often relies on fear and survival mode to drive learning, which can lead to resentment. To create a truly educated citizenry that enjoys learning, we need to inspire people. Similarly, note-taking software often falls short in facilitating effective workflows and promoting meaningful engagement with information. Programmable notes, on the other hand, offer the potential to enhance human cognition and encourage reflection, synthesis, connection, and serendipity.

The Power of Inspiration in Learning:

Inspiration is the keystone of learning. It serves as the engine behind a student's motivation and the glue that makes ideas stick. Unlike survival mode, which relies on pain and fear, inspiration transcends the world of needs and lives in the world of wants. When the pain of the status quo becomes greater than the pain of discipline, individuals are capable of extraordinary feats of learning. Enjoyable learning begins with inspiration, both to get started and to overcome the struggles of acquiring knowledge. It is a continuous process that fuels the desire to learn more.

Inspiration and Cold Rationality:

As we grow older, our inspiration can be clouded by cold rationality. We tend to value only what we can define and prioritize what we can measure. However, true inspiration goes beyond these boundaries. It is born out of enthusiasm, where the more we learn, the more we want to learn. It is a pursuit of knowledge that acknowledges perfection as an asymptote, rather than a summit. While inspiration does not guarantee knowledge, it propels individuals to relentlessly pursue it. Reading science fiction, for example, may not guarantee innovation, but it can inspire it.

Embracing Entertainment in Education:

Historically, education has shied away from entertainment, assuming it would lead to mere amusement. However, storytelling has proven to be one of the most effective tools for inspiring people at scale. Popular documentaries, for instance, can generate more interest in a subject than textbooks. Attitudes are not taught; they are caught. Just as a good writer takes responsibility for making ideas clear, a good teacher takes responsibility for inspiring their students. Context, stories, metaphors, and examples are essential in making complex subjects relevant and inspiring.

Programmable Notes for Meaningful Engagement:

Traditional note-taking software often acts as passive storage containers for information. They lack the ability to actively facilitate and encourage workflows that promote understanding, synthesis, and connection. Programmable notes, however, allow users to write programmatic rules that facilitate specific ways of working with their notes. The goal is not to amass notes, but to augment human cognition. These systems encourage reflection, synthesis, connection, and serendipity in note-taking practices. They go beyond mere storage and retrieval, enabling users to engage deeply with their notes and derive meaningful insights.


Inspiration serves as a powerful motivator in the learning process. By embracing entertainment and storytelling in education, we can inspire learners and foster a love for knowledge. Additionally, programmable notes offer the potential to enhance our note-taking practices by facilitating meaningful engagement with information. By actively encouraging reflection, synthesis, connection, and serendipity, programmable notes can transform the way we interact with knowledge. To make the most of these approaches, here are three actionable advice:

  • 1. Seek inspiration in diverse sources: Explore different genres, read widely, and engage with various forms of media to spark inspiration and foster a passion for learning.
  • 2. Embrace storytelling: Whether you are a student or an educator, incorporate storytelling techniques in your learning and teaching practices. Connect concepts to real-world examples and engage your audience emotionally.
  • 3. Experiment with programmable notes: Explore note-taking software that goes beyond storage and retrieval. Look for systems that allow you to write programmatic rules, facilitating reflection, synthesis, and connection with your notes.

By combining the power of inspiration with effective note-taking practices, we can create a more engaging and fulfilling learning experience for ourselves and others.

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