Knowledge Makes the Existence of Resources Infinite: From Note-Taking to Note-Making


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 04, 2023

3 min read


Knowledge Makes the Existence of Resources Infinite: From Note-Taking to Note-Making

The creation of knowledge is a limitless endeavor, constantly expanding our understanding of the world and the resources available to us. However, there seems to be a pessimistic assumption among some individuals that human creativity is bounded. This assumption is often held by those who have not had the experience of building or creating something from scratch. But the truth is, even so-called empty space is teeming with matter that can be converted into energy. There is no limit to the number of resources out there; there is purely a limit to knowledge.

When it comes to acquiring knowledge, note-taking is a common practice. It involves quickly capturing content while listening, with the intention of referring back to it later. However, research suggests that there is no significant difference in student performance between different note-taking methods, such as the Cornell method, free-flow notes, outlining, or using guided notes provided by the teacher. So, perhaps it's time to shift our focus from note-taking to note-making.

Note-making, unlike note-taking, is a more deliberate and involved process. It occurs while reading, and it requires us to actively craft our own version of the information using our own language. This process of actively creating our own notes, known as the generation effect, has been found to enhance our understanding and retention of the content. When we actively engage with the material by rephrasing, connecting ideas, and questioning, we are more likely to remember and comprehend the information.

To truly embrace note-making, we need to shift our mindset from passive collection to active creation. One way to do this is by rephrasing the original ideas in our own words. Instead of relying on the author's or teacher's language, we distill the concepts into our own language, making it easier for us to understand and remember. This approach is akin to the Feynman Technique, where we explain concepts to ourselves as if we were teaching them to someone else.

Another important aspect of note-making is connecting ideas together. Memories are rarely formed in isolation; they are built upon existing knowledge and connections. By actively building upon the ideas in our notes, we create a web of interconnected knowledge that is easier to navigate and recall. Our notes should be living documents that we revisit, review, and revise over time.

One feature that could greatly enhance the note-making process is a note-taking tool with a back-linking function. This would allow us to easily navigate between related concepts and ideas, ensuring that our notes remain interconnected and easily accessible. By incorporating this feature, we can further promote active engagement and facilitate the creation of comprehensive and interconnected notes.

In conclusion, knowledge is the key to unlocking the infinite existence of resources. By embracing note-making over note-taking, we can actively engage with the material, enhance our understanding and retention of information, and create a comprehensive web of interconnected knowledge. To make the most of our note-making process, we should rephrase ideas in our own words, connect concepts together, and continuously review and revise our notes. By actively engaging with knowledge, we can tap into the limitless potential of resources that surround us.

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