The True Value of Notes Apps and the Art of Forgetting


Hatched by Glasp

Jul 19, 2023

3 min read


The True Value of Notes Apps and the Art of Forgetting


In today's digital age, notes apps have become a popular tool for saving ideas, thoughts, and discoveries. However, it is often observed that these notes end up being forgotten and left untouched. Surprisingly, this phenomenon is not necessarily a negative outcome. In fact, notes apps serve as a form of insurance for ideas, allowing us to let go and move forward. This article explores the true value of notes apps, the concept of loss aversion, and the art of forgetting.

The Purpose of Notes Apps:

Contrary to popular belief, we do not write things down to remember them. Instead, we write them down to forget. The act of noting down our thoughts and findings provides a sense of security and allows us to mentally move on. It is similar to taking out an insurance policy for our ideas, giving us the freedom to explore new avenues without the fear of losing valuable information.

Loss Aversion and the Fear of Losing:

As human beings, we are naturally inclined to place more importance on avoiding losses than on acquiring gains. This concept, known as loss aversion, is deeply ingrained in our DNA. We want our thoughts and findings to have meaning and significance, which leads us to ascribe value to them. However, the truth is that most of our ideas and discoveries are not inherently valuable on their own. Understanding loss aversion helps us recognize the need to let go and focus on what truly matters.

The Quest for the Perfect Note-Taking App:

The constant pursuit of the perfect note-taking app is a common behavior among users. We often blame the tools and techniques, believing that a new app will solve our problems. Yet, no matter how advanced the features or organization methods, we ultimately find ourselves back at square one – safely forgetting things. The allure of the next new thing keeps us trapped in an endless cycle of seeking better solutions.

The Illusion of Value and the Art of Forgetting:

When we revisit our old notes, we often realize that most of our ideas and discoveries are not as valuable as we initially believed. They serve as a record of when we first encountered the idea rather than holding inherent value on their own. However, the low cost of digital storage allows us to maintain the illusion of value, providing us with the mental safety to forget.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace the art of forgetting: Understand that not everything we write down needs to be remembered. Accept that most of our ideas and discoveries are not as valuable as we perceive them to be. This mindset will free up mental space and allow you to focus on what truly matters.
  • 2. Prioritize meaningful ideas: Instead of hoarding every thought and discovery, prioritize the ones that have the potential to make a real impact. Regularly review your notes and identify the ideas that align with your goals and aspirations. By doing so, you can filter out the noise and concentrate on what truly matters.
  • 3. Experiment with different note-taking methods: Rather than obsessing over finding the perfect note-taking app, explore different methods that work for you. Experiment with physical notebooks, digital apps, or a combination of both. Find a system that allows you to capture ideas effectively while also facilitating the act of forgetting.


Notes apps serve as a form of insurance for ideas, allowing us to forget and move forward. Understanding loss aversion and the illusion of value helps us recognize the need to let go of insignificant thoughts and discoveries. By embracing the art of forgetting, prioritizing meaningful ideas, and experimenting with different note-taking methods, we can free up mental space and focus on what truly matters. So, embrace the power of notes apps and learn to forget with a sense of liberation.

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