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How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking Paperback – March 9 2022
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The key to good and efficient writing lies in the intelligent organisation of ideas and notes. This book helps students, academics and other knowledge workers to get more done, write intelligent texts and learn for the long run. It teaches you how to take smart notes and ensure they bring you and your projects forward.
The Take Smart Notes principle is based on established psychological insight and draws from a tried and tested note-taking technique: the Zettelkasten. This is the first comprehensive guide and description of this system in English, and not only does it explain how it works, but also why. It suits students and academics in the social sciences and humanities, nonfiction writers and others who are in the business of reading, thinking and writing.
Instead of wasting your time searching for your notes, quotes or references, you can focus on what really counts: thinking, understanding and developing new ideas in writing.
Dr. Sönke Ahrens is a writer and researcher in the field of education and social science. He is the author of the award-winning book “Experiment and Exploration: Forms of World Disclosure” (Springer).
Since its first publication, How to Take Smart Notes has sold more than 100,000 copies and has been translated into seven languages.
About the Author
- Publisher : Sönke Ahrens; 2nd ed. edition (March 9 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 188 pages
- ISBN-10 : 3982438802
- ISBN-13 : 978-3982438801
- Item weight : 200 g
- Dimensions : 13.34 x 1.09 x 20.32 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from Canada
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There are passages I have to go through over and over again just to get the essence of what I'm reading, but as soon as you understand it, you could start thinking this may be one of the best things I've spent a $30 with. At this point it has reinforced my belief that taking notes is like tapping into the power of our second brain.
I like writing a lot and as a high performer friend told me once, "Note takers are leaders", and I told myself, yeah, I agree so I decided to find a way to tweak that seemingly simple, mundane task and do it in a smarter way. The Zettelkasten method (it take can take a while to build up the skill but the learning curve at least for me isn't that steep) together with all the other techniques written here are just mind blowingly simple to say the least (you'll get that 'it's been staring right in my face' feeling).
Too often I rely on my brain to do the hard work of remembering when I should let it wander and make connections.
Would recommend. Thank you.
Top reviews from other countries
For me it has helped me take the necessary steps to build a genuinely productive workflow and it has also led me to make significant changes to how I teach as well.
I think this book will be particularly accessibly to anyone who reads qualitative research and the text is relatively dense compared to your average self help book. It is a serious chunk of work, and Ahrens' pedigree as an academic is apparent. It's not as impenetrable as many papers in the social sciences (!) but it's still a long way from the fluff that generally adorns the Amazon self help list. (And I read and like plenty of that too.) Some reviewers may take exception to references but I'm in favour of them - actually, I can't think of anything worse that pages of opinion with the lightest of efforts to refer to a single study before the author makes some sweeping statement. I like to be able to check for myself and it also offers the opportunity for you to branch into areas for your own exploration.
If you are toying with the idea of building your own Zettelkasten this is the book - and check out zettelkasten.de as well as the author's website for resources.
Potentially life-changing, certainly life-enhancing, but you'll have to work for it too. You can't blast through it in an hour. And, for something that could have so much impact you didn't really expect that did you? Looking at reviews, it seems some people do. I bought it on Kindle but I'm buying the paperback too so I can re-visit and devote time to it as I add the elements I want to my own Zettelkasten.
Get some index cards, put them in a box. That's about as practicle as it gets I am afraid.
If, as I was, you are looking for an explanation of Luhmann's Zettelkasten method with examples, look elsewhere. This book totally fails to deliver what it claims.
If however, you want an interesting read about the philosophy of effective note-taking, it's worth getting.