This is a extremely dumb review about "How to take smart notes" by Sonke Ahrens.
TL;DR: 3.6/5 stars
While going through the pages of the book I was constantly asking myself why? That doesn't really tell you anything about the book itself, but about how confused I was to some of the statements it has.
The method doesn't even have a memorable name. It does have a memorable subject around where "smart" notes are created: A slip-box.
The slip-box is the one place where you put all the notes about everything you want to use in the future. Sort of a second brain. Whatever you decide to include in the slip-box will have your take on things, Your voice, your filter, it's an element to think with.
The book has 150 pages on exactly how to go around this box: How to make sure you use the box and you fill it with "smart" notes rather than fleeting ones.
At any point the book gives you a definition of smart notes. It repeats itself over what are all the considerations you need to have to write what the author consider good notes.
A few things I remember are that smart notes should be:
My dissapointed came early when I saw that the author said the method was super effective and the only reason why not everyone is using this is because there is some lack of knowledge around implementing this method.
The notes are just a mean. The book expects you to learn this "simple" method about taking notes and more than that, how to think about the writing process in 150 words. I didn't convince me.
This method is NOT for everyone. It worked for the creator of it because it was probably tailor made to the personality of that scientist. I can see it won't work for me without even trying.
It's about priciples. The pillars the method is built on don't apply with mine:
These are the pillars of the book (my interpretation):
I'll add my take on it.
And I think the most important learning: - I'll share more. Talking about what you learn and how you interpret things helps me immesively.
This post is the proof I'm writing a long fleeting note. The more filters I applied, the more I'll worry about all the mistakes: grammar horrors, semantic errors, contradictions and judgements that this post might cause to my persona. It is good to have filters, thinking in public can be scary. Writing things that might harm your career or your reputation are scary things. Today I can make public my fleeting post and it's ok. This post have achieved it's goal: It helped me think.
I'm embracing my lack of popularity: Low Profile vs High Profile
The book is ok. I gave it 3.6 out of 5 because It did make me think a lot. It's also very much about expectations. I did start the book without much expectations but the author set that this method work with for non-fiction writers and that gave me hopes.
If you are scientist maybe, just maybe you might find this method more aligned with you.