The Power of Note Taking and Networking in Building Expertise and Success


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 28, 2023

3 min read


The Power of Note Taking and Networking in Building Expertise and Success


Becoming an expert in any field requires a combination of knowledge acquisition, skill development, and valuable connections. In this article, we will explore how note taking can help accelerate expertise in ill-structured domains and how building a strong network can enhance your net worth and career growth.

Note Taking as a Path to Expertise:

In ill-structured domains where concepts are variable and messy, note taking becomes a crucial tool for concept instantiation and knowledge integration. Cognitive Flexibility Theory (CFT) emphasizes the importance of collecting and connecting fragments of cases to build an adaptive worldview. By capturing and linking these fragments, experts can reason by analogy and draw insights from previous cases rather than relying solely on first principles. Note taking serves as a system to organize and backlink these fragments, enabling accelerated expertise development.

Building an Adaptive Worldview:

CFT highlights two key claims for experts dealing with novelty in ill-structured domains. Firstly, experts construct temporary schemas on-the-fly by combining fragments of previous cases. Secondly, they embrace an adaptive worldview, recognizing that there is no single explanation or framework for complex events in their domain. Instead, they hold a collection of prototypes and assemble fragments to update and refine their concepts. To foster adaptive expertise, learners should be exposed to diverse cases and encouraged to highlight and backlink concepts within a hypertextual note taking system.

Creating a CFT Hypertext System:

To construct a CFT hypertext system, one can start by selecting a note taking app with backlinking capabilities. By copying cases from various sources and marking up passages with relevant concepts or case features, users can create a library of interconnected fragments. The key is to seek out cases that differ from the existing collection, continuously expanding the range of available fragments. The hypertext system then serves as a reference for relevant fragments when encountering new cases, facilitating a deeper understanding and informed decision-making.

The Value of Networking:

While note taking aids expertise development, building a strong network is equally crucial for career growth and success. As the saying goes, "Your network is your net worth." Connecting with the right people can open doors to opportunities, collaborations, and valuable insights. Networking requires effort and consistency. By attending industry events and volunteering to contribute, you can establish meaningful connections. Rather than trying to meet everyone, focus on making key contacts and invest your time without expecting immediate returns. Trust and genuine relationships are the foundation of a strong network.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace note taking as a learning tool: Develop a system to collect and connect fragments of cases, allowing you to reason by analogy and build an adaptive worldview.
  • 2. Seek diverse cases and concepts: Continuously expand your collection of cases and vary the types of concepts you encounter, enabling a broader perspective and deeper understanding.
  • 3. Invest in meaningful connections: Attend relevant industry events, volunteer, and be consistent in your efforts. Build trust and foster relationships by sharing knowledge and helping others without expecting immediate returns.


Note taking and networking are two powerful tools in the journey towards expertise and success. By leveraging a well-structured note taking system, individuals can accelerate their understanding of ill-structured domains and cultivate adaptive expertise. Simultaneously, building a strong network opens doors to valuable opportunities and collaborations. By combining these strategies, individuals can enhance their knowledge, connections, and ultimately their net worth. Remember to trust your instincts, invest in relationships, and never underestimate the power of continuous learning and meaningful connections.

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