24 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2022
    1. • Daily writing prevents writer’s block.• Daily writing demystifies the writing process.• Daily writing keeps your research always at the top of your mind.• Daily writing generates new ideas.• Daily writing stimulates creativity• Daily writing adds up incrementally.• Daily writing helps you figure out what you want to say.

      What specifically does she define "writing" to be? What exactly is she writing, and how much? What does her process look like?

      One might also consider the idea of active reading and writing notes. I may not "write" daily in the way she means, but my note writing, is cumulative and beneficial in the ways she describes in her list. I might further posit that the amount of work/effort it takes me to do my writing is far more fruitful and productive than her writing.

      When I say writing, I mean focused note taking (either excerpting, rephrasing, or original small ideas which can be stitched together later). I don't think this is her same definition.

      I'm curious how her process of writing generates new ideas and creativity specifically?


      One might analogize the idea of active reading with a pen in hand as a sort of Einsteinian space-time. Many view reading and writing as to separate and distinct practices. What if they're melded together the way Einstein reconceptualized the space time continuum? The writing advice provided by those who write about commonplace books, zettelkasten, and general note taking combines an active reading practice with a focused writing practice that moves one toward not only more output, but higher quality output without the deleterious effects seen in other methods.

    1. That stage when you're pretty sure you've finished reading + taking notes, and you're ready to start porting everything over into thematic sections on Scrivener. One of the many stages of writing before The Writing actually begins. T-minus 14 hours

      https://twitter.com/shannonmattern/status/1512134425785610255

      That stage when you're pretty sure you've finished reading + taking notes, and you're ready to start porting everything over into thematic sections on Scrivener. One of the many stages of writing before The Writing actually begins. T-minus 14 hours 😰

      — Shannon Mattern (@shannonmattern) April 7, 2022
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    1. Shannon Mattern@shannonmattern·Apr 16Replying to @shannonmattern"I do not take notes as I read. I dog-ear—verso-top, recto-bottom—and underline sentences + paragraphs. I create a document and type out every underlined sentence and paragraph, sorted by book. Then I create a second document + sort the sentences + paragraphs by subject...."2117Shannon Mattern@shannonmattern·Apr 16"... The process of doing this usually gets me to a preliminary articulation of the argument I want to make, its beginning and its end, its arc, and its subclaims." How affirming - this is my process, too! // All of this is from a lovely @nybooks email interview with @mervatim

      Merve Emre's note taking process: dog earing and highlighting followed by typing out sentences and sorting into a rough draft.

      Similar to Shannon Mattern's as noted.


      "I do not take notes as I read. I dog-ear—verso-top, recto-bottom—and underline sentences + paragraphs. I create a document and type out every underlined sentence and paragraph, sorted by book. Then I create a second document + sort the sentences + paragraphs by subject...."

      — Shannon Mattern (@shannonmattern) April 16, 2022
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      "... The process of doing this usually gets me to a preliminary articulation of the argument I want to make, its beginning and its end, its arc, and its subclaims." How affirming - this is my process, too! // All of this is from a lovely @nybooks email interview with @mervatim pic.twitter.com/iAF82mo5MI

      — Shannon Mattern (@shannonmattern) April 16, 2022
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  2. Aug 2022
    1. the task maybe undertaken by any instructor who finds that good notesare necessary for successful work in his course.

      Just as physics and engineering professors don't always rely on the mathematics department to teach all the mathematics that students should know, neither should any department rely on the English department to teach students how to take notes.

    1. One can't help but notice that Dutcher's essay, laid out like it is in a numbered fashion with one or two paragraphs each may stem from the fact of his using his own note taking method.

      Each section seems to have it's own headword followed by pre-written notes in much the same way he indicates one should take notes in part 18.

      It could be illustrative to count the number of paragraphs in each numbered section. Skimming, most are just a paragraph or two at most while a few do go as high as 5 or 6 though these are rarer. A preponderance of shorter one or two paragraphs that fill a single 3x5" card would tend to more directly support the claim. Though it is also the case that one could have multiple attached cards on a single idea. In Dutcher's case it's possible that these were paperclipped or stapled together (does he mention using one side of the slip only, which is somewhat common in this area of literature on note making?). It seems reasonably obvious that he's not doing more complex numbering or ordering the way Luhmann did, but he does seem to be actively using it to create and guide his output directly in a way (and even publishing it as such) that supports his method.

      Is this then evidence for his own practice? He does actively mention in several places links to section numbers where he also cross references ideas in one card to ideas in another, thereby creating a network of related ideas even within the subject heading of his overall essay title.

      Here it would be very valuable to see his note collection directly or be able to compare this 1927 version to an earlier 1908 version which he mentions.

    1. Mortimer Adler (another independent scholar). “My train of thought greiout of my life just the way a leaf or a branch grows our of a tree.” His thinking and writing occurred as a regular part of his life. In one of his book;Thinking and Working on the Waterfront, he wrote:My writing is'done in railroad yards while waiting for a freight, in the fieldswhile waiting for a truck, and at noon after lunch. Now and then I take aday off to “put myself in order." I go through the notes, pick and discard.The residue is usually a few paragraphs. My mind must always have somethingto chew on. I think on man, America, and the world. It is not as pretentiousas it sounds.
  3. Jul 2022
    1. Synthesis notes are a strategy for taking and using reading notes that bring together—synthesize—what we read with our thoughts about our topic in a way that lets us integrate our notes seamlessly into the process of writing a first draft. Six steps will take us from reading sources to a first draft.

      Similar to Beatrice Webb's definition of synthetic notes in My Apprentice (1926), thought this also includes movement into actually drafting writing.

      What year was this written?

      The idea here seems to be less discrete in the steps of the writing process and subsumes multiple things instead of breaking them into discrete conceptual parts. Has this been some of what has caused issues in the note taking to creation process in the last century?

    1. But it's not a trivial problem. I have compiled, at latest reckoning, 35,669 posts - my version of a Zettelkasten. But how to use them when writing a paper? It's not straightforward - and I find myself typically looking outside my own notes to do searches on Google and elsewhere. So how is my own Zettel useful? For me, the magic happens in the creation, not in the subsequent use. They become grist for pattern recognition. I don't find value in classifying them or categorizing them (except for historical purposes, to create a chronology of some concept over time), but by linking them intuitively to form overarching themes or concepts not actually contained in the resources themselves. But this my brain does, not my software. Then I write a paper (or an outline) based on those themes (usually at the prompt of an interview, speaking or paper invitation) and then I flesh out the paper by doing a much wider search, and not just my limited collection of resources.

      Stephen Downes describes some of his note taking process for creation here. He doesn't actively reuse his notes (or in this case blog posts, bookmarks, etc.) which number a sizeable 35669, directly, at least in the sort of cut and paste method suggested by Sönke Ahrens. Rather he follows a sort of broad idea, outline creation, and search plan akin to that described by Cory Doctorow in 20 years a blogger

      Link to: - https://hyp.is/_XgTCm9GEeyn4Dv6eR9ypw/pluralistic.net/2021/01/13/two-decades/


      Downes suggests that the "magic happens in the creation" of his notes. He uses them as "grist for pattern recognition". He doesn't mention words like surprise or serendipity coming from his notes by linking them, though he does use them "intuitively to form overarching themes or concepts not actually contained in the resources themselves." This is closely akin to the broader ideas ensconced in inventio, Llullan Wheels, triangle thinking, ideas have sex, combinatorial creativity, serendipity (Luhmann), insight, etc. which have been described by others.


      Note that Downes indicates that his brain creates the links and he doesn't rely on his software to do this. The break is compounded by the fact that he doesn't find value in classifying or categorizing his notes.


      I appreciate that Downes uses the word "grist" to describe part of his note taking practice which evokes the idea of grinding up complex ideas (the grain) to sort out the portions of the whole to find simpler ideas (the flour) which one might use later to combine to make new ideas (bread, cake, etc.) Similar analogies might be had in the grain harvesting space including winnowing or threshing.

      One can compare this use of a grist mill analogy of thinking with the analogy of the crucible, which implies a chamber or space in which elements are brought together often with work or extreme conditions to create new products by their combination.

      Of course these also follow the older classical analogy of imitating the bees (apes).

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7XbgD4VVa4

      Matthias Melcher's note taking process. Quick capture as text. Linking and categorizing later, and then import into a private WordPress space.

      No indication here what happens after, though ostensibly some of it is covered here: https://x28newblog.wordpress.com/2022/07/13/pruning-for-output/

    1. Beyond the cards mentioned above, you should also capture any hard-to-classify thoughts, questions, and areas for further inquiry on separate cards. Regularly go through these to make sure that you are covering everything and that you don’t forget something.I consider these insurance cards because they won’t get lost in some notebook or scrap of paper, or email to oneself.

      Julius Reizen in reviewing over Umberto Eco's index card system in How to Write a Thesis, defines his own "insurance card" as one which contains "hard-to-classify thoughts, questions, and areas for further inquiry". These he would keep together so that they don't otherwise get lost in the variety of other locations one might keep them

      These might be akin to Ahrens' "fleeting notes" but are ones which may not easily or even immediately be converted in to "permanent notes" for one's zettelkasten. However, given their mission critical importance, they may be some of the most important cards in one's repository.

      link this to - idea of centralizing one's note taking practice to a single location

      Is this idea in Eco's book and Reizen is the one that gives it a name since some of the other categories have names? (examples: bibliographic index cards, reading index cards (aka literature notes), cards for themes, author index cards, quote index cards, idea index cards, connection cards). Were these "officially" named and categorized by Eco?

      May be worthwhile to create a grid of these naming systems and uses amongst some of the broader note taking methods. Where are they similar, where do they differ?


      Multi-search tools that have full access to multiple trusted data stores (ostensibly personal ones across notebooks, hard drives, social media services, etc.) could potentially solve the problem of needing to remember where you noted something.

      Currently, in the social media space especially, this is not a realized service.

  4. Jun 2022
    1. Compass Points, a routine for examining propositions.

      via https://pz.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/Compass%20Points_0.pdf

      • E- excited
      • W- worrisome
      • N - need to know
      • S - stance or suggestion for moving forward

      These could be used as a simple set of rules for thumb for evaluating and expanding on ideas in note taking or social annotation settings.

      Compare these with the suggestions of Tiago Forte in his book Building a Second Brain. Which is better? More comprehensive? Are there any ideas missing in a broader conceptualization? Is there a better acronymization or analogy for such a technique?

    1. Of the two stages of this process, convergence is where mostpeople struggle.

      Of course they'll struggle here because now they must recontextualize a huge amount of work and fill in all the details with things they might have also collected and linked previously.

    2. the time you sit down tomake progress on something, all the work to gather and organize thesource material needs to already be done. We can’t expectourselves to instantly come up with brilliant ideas on demand. Ilearned that innovation and problem-solving depend on a routine thatsystematically brings interesting ideas to the surface of ourawareness.

      By writing down and collecting ideas slowly over time, working on them in small fits and spurts, when one finally comes to do the final work on their writing project or other work, the pieces only need minor shaping to take their final form. This process allows for a much greater level of serendipity, creativity, and potential sustained genius of connecting ideas across time to take shape in a final piece.


      How does this relate to diffuse thinking? How can slow diffuse thinking be leveraged into this process?

      Writing down fleeting notes while walking around can be valuable as one's ideas brew slowly in the mind (diffuse thinking) in combination with active combinatorial creativity, thus a form of Llullan combinatorial diffusion.


      Many business books seem so shallow and often only have one real insight which is repeated multiple times, perhaps to drive the point home or perhaps just to have enough filler to seem being worth the purchase of a book.

      Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich is an example of this, though it shows a different form of genius in expanding the idea from a variety of perspectives so that eventually everyone will absorb the broader idea which is distilled to great effect into the title.

  5. Feb 2022
    1. Steven Johnson indicates that the word processor is a terrible tool for writing because it doesn't have usable affordances for building up longer pieces from one's notes or basic ideas.

      He discusses his specific workflow of note taking and keeping ideas in Scrivener where he arranges them into folders and outlines which then become the source of his writing.

      Different from the typical zettelkasten workflow, he's keeping his notes hierarchically organized in folders based on topic keywords and only later when creating a specific writing project making explicit links and orders between his notes to create longer pieces. It's here that his work diverges most dramatically to the zettelkasten method described by Sönke Ahrens.

    1. no underlinedsentence will ever present itself when you need it in the developmentof an argument.
    2. Everything You Need to Do

      Ahrens looks at the discrete steps of writing a paper or book in reverse order... all the way back to creating the initial notes and ideas. By framing it this way, he shows the value of note taking as a means of making the entire enterprise so much easier.

  6. Aug 2021
    1. https://kimberlyhirsh.com/2018/06/29/a-starttofinish-literature.html

      Great overview of a literature review with some useful looking links to more specifics on note taking methods.

      Most of the newer note taking tools like Roam Research, Obsidian, etc. were not available or out when she wrote this. I'm curious how these may have changed or modified her perspective versus some of the other catch-as-catch-can methods with pen/paper/index cards/digital apps?

    1. https://kimberlyhirsh.com/2019/04/01/dissertating-in-the.html

      A description of some of Kimiberly Hirsh's workflow in keeping a public research notebook (or commonplace book).

      I'd be curious to know what type of readership and response she's gotten from this work in the past. For some it'll bet it's possibly too niche for a lot of direct feedback, but some pieces may be more interesting than others.

      Did it help her organize her thoughts and reuse the material later on?

  7. May 2021
    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Ton Zijlstra</span> in Man at Knowledge Work – Interdependent Thoughts (<time class='dt-published'>05/26/2021 13:35:30</time>)</cite></small>

  8. Mar 2021
    1. In the attached YouTube video Dan talks through his post as usual, but he has the added bonus here of showing a split screen of his annotated copy of the book with his Obsidian notebook open. We then see a real time transcription of his note taking process of moving from scant highlights in the book to more fleshed out thoughts and notes in his notebook. We also see him cross referencing various materials for alternate definitions and resources.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HBL-c_nXXQ

  9. Feb 2021
    1. Others on the page here (specifically Dpthomas87's A, B, C) have done a great job at outlining their methods which I'm generally following. So I'll focus a bit more on the mechanics.

      I rely pretty heavily on Hypothes.is for most of my note taking, highlights, and annotations. This works whether a paper is online or as a pdf I read online or store locally and annotate there.

      Then I use RSS to pipe my data from Hypothes.is into a text file in OneDrive for my Obsidian vault using IFTTT.com. I know that a few are writing code for the Hypothes.is API to port data directly into Roam Research presently; I hope others might do it for Obsidian as well.)

      Often at the end of the day or end of the week, I'll go through my drafts folder everything is in to review things, do some light formatting and add links, tags, or other meta data and links to related ideas.

      Using Hypothes.is helps me get material into the system pretty quickly without a lot of transcription (which doesn't help my memory or retention). And the end of the day or end of week review helps reinforce things as well as help to surface other connections.

      I'm hoping that as more people use Hypothesis for social annotation, the cross conversations will also be a source of more helpful cross-linking of ideas and thought.

      I prefer to keep my notes as atomic as I can.

      For some smaller self-contained things like lectures, I may keep a handful of notes together rather than splitting them apart, but they may be linked to larger structures like longer courses or topics of study.

      If an article only has one or two annotations I'll keep them together in the same note, but books more often have dozens or hundreds of notes which I keep in separate files.

      For those who don't have a clear idea of what or why they're doing this, I highly recommend reading [[Sönke Ahrens]]' book Smart Notes.

      I do have a handful of templates for books, articles, and zettels to help in prompting me to fill in appropriate meta data for various notes more quickly. For this I'm using the built-in Templates plug-in and then ctrl-shift-T to choose a specific template as necessary.

      Often I'll use Hypothes.is and tag things as #WantToRead to quickly bookmark things into my vault for later thought, reading, or processing.

      For online videos and lectures, I'll often dump YouTube URLs into https://docdrop.org/, which then gives a side by side transcript for more easily jumping around as well as annotating directly from the transcript if I choose.

      I prefer to use [[links]] over #tags for connecting information. Most of the tags I use tend to be for organizational or more personal purposes like #WantToRead which I later delete when done.

      When I run across interesting questions or topics that would make good papers or areas of future research I'll use a tag like #OpenQuestion, so when I'm bored I can look at a list of what I might like to work on next.

      Syndicated copies: https://forum.obsidian.md/t/research-phd-academics/1446/64?u=chrisaldrich

  10. Oct 2020
    1. Consider that no single step in the process of turning raw ideas into finished pieces of writing is particularly difficult. It isn’t very hard to write down notes in the first place. Nor is turning a group of notes into an outline very demanding. It also isn’t much of a challenge to turn a working outline full of relevant arguments into a rough draft. And polishing a well-conceived rough draft into a final draft is trivial. So if each individual step is so easy, why do we find the overall experience of writing so grueling? Because we try to do all the steps at once. Each of the activities that make up “writing” – reading, reflecting, having ideas, making connections, distinguishing terms, finding the right words, structuring, organizing, editing, correcting, and rewriting – require a very different kind of attention.