Sönke Ahrens: How to Take Smart Notes
Sönke Ahrens is the creator of Take Smart Notes, a project dedicated to helping students, academics and nonfiction writers get more done – ideally with more fun and less effort. He has spent years researching and experimenting with different note-taking systems and his settled on a methodology called Zettlekasten.
Sönke is a writer, coach, and academic — and also the author of the bestselling book, How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers*.
In this conversation, Sönke and I discuss how to move past the practice of simply reading and highlighting by beginning to seek meaning. We explore how you might create a system for doing this and how external scaffolding can help. Plus, we explain what notes might look like and how you can use them for an ongoing conversation with yourself — and perhaps others.
- Move past details and look for meaning.
- As we become familiar with something, we may start believing we understand it.
- Real thinking requires external scaffolding.
- It's not so much about saving information, but in making connections between the information.
- Your notes need not be long or numerous, but should spark (and continue) future conversations with yourself.
- How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers* by Sönke Ahrens
- Take Smart Notes
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