- Jul 2022
Others have called these“Main Notes” or “Permanent Notes” or “EvergreenNotes”. I called them Point Notes to remind myself thatwhen I write them I should be making a point.
Part of Allosso's definition of point notes: they should be making a point.
(No mention of "atomic notes"?)
With practice, your SourceNotes will become more like data and your Points moreanalytical.
This distinguishing factor is a more useful one than those in other systems.
Compare this with the idea of Beatrice Webb's "analytic notes" versus "synthetic notes" or "scientific notes" which she describes in My Apprentice (1926).
Web considers "analytic note taking" to be the raw data collection and arrangement (in the same vein of creating databases in the computer science space, which didn't exist when she did her work) upon which historical work is based.
She views "synthetic notes" as observations of behaviours and writings which probably more closely resembles the idea of "literature notes" (Ahrens) or "source notes" (Allosso). Some of the difference is that she's viewing her notes as a tool for her particular work (sociology) rather than as a broader enterprise which might be used in all fields.
Webb's synthetic notes are also likely bound up in her idea of Herbert Spencer's "synthetic philosophy" of thinking, which may require some more reading of these sections on my part to better distinguish her specific meaning.
Webb didn't seem to have a version of "permanent notes" in her conceptualization. Perhaps this is an indication that the evolution of the note really only occurred as it was placed into published writing. This may potentially preclude the reuse of the evolved ideas unless they are separately re-subsumed into one's note collection.
Ahrens' conceptualization of the zettelkasten has all the writing, revision, and evolution work occurring in the slip box itself so it's always available and reusable. Many modern note taking and writing systems would seem to elide this part. (Is this true in practice? Can we provide examples?)
As you writea new note, which I call a Point Note, the focus shiftsfrom the source material to your own thoughts. This iswhere you begin taking real ownership of the idea, usingthe source as support for a thought you’re pursuing apoint you want to make.
further elaboration on the idea of a point note
Engage with the idea and comment or elaborateon it in a Point Note.
Dan Allosso's definition of a point note.
This is roughly equivalent to permanent notes or evergreen notes in Ahrens or Matuschak's frameworks respectively. Somehow I like what seems like a broader feel here, thought the name
Does this version contain within it the idea of growth or evolution over time? Evergreen note in Matuschak's version does, though the word evergreen stemming from the journalism space would indicate an idea that doesn't evolve over time but is simply reusable or republishable with little or no work. The linguistic link to evergreen articles in the journalism space creates cognitive dissonance for me in calling notes evergreen. Evergreen connotes reusability, which is useful, but ideas should have the ability to evolve and procreate with other ideas.
- content reuse
- point notes
- synthetic notes
- Beatrice Webb
- source notes
- evergreen notes
- atomic notes
- Synthetic Philosophy
- Herbert Spencer
- note reuse
- main notes
- Dan Allosso
- analytic notes
- permanent notes