Tuesday 26th January 2021
One of the things I really want to improve in 2021 is my notetaking.
I’ve got better over the years, especially when it comes to writing and ideas. I used to be a person who thought the only ideas worth remembering were those in my head, but as I’ve got older and I have more ideas, I find I’m sometimes scrambling to remember half an idea from years ago.
I have structures in place to capture notes, and I’ve definitely got better at jotting things down.
Last year, I extended that into making notes about craft . Before, I’d often watch something on youtube, come to some bullet point but forget the detail. I’ve found it helpful to revisit my notes on craft.
But I want to extend it further. I will often delve into Youtube rabbit holes. I’ll get weeks when certain subjects fascinate me and I’ll watch loads of videos on some subject that would never otherwise interest me. These seem to be a little different to general procrastination as they seem super-focused rather than just watching any old video.
I want to spend some time in 2021 learning new things; not necessarily mastering them but having a broad understanding. I not only believe that it keeps the brain active but things like this suddenly become useful when you have a character who is a plumber and you remember you spent watching plumping videos.
I’d split these Youtube rabbit holes broadly into two categories. There’s broad learning. Those are the more procrastination videos where something is interesting in the way it’s framed or presented even if the subject itself isn’t that interesting (“Watch this cool video on blacksmithing”). And then there’s deep learning. Those are the videos that are more courses, and the ones where there’s more a practical understanding on the how.
I’d like to delve a bit deeper into some subjects at some point, but I also want to change my learning. I’d typically watch them, take a key point or two, maybe tweet about it or make it the subject of an edition of The Climb. Now, I want to approach deep learning more as a student and make notes.
I’ve not really used notes for learning since I was a student (and even then, I did Mathematics at university – it was more about practical application and formulas rather than notes). Usually I’m a bookmark / librarian guy. I don’t file away the knowledge, I file away where to find it. For the stuff I’ve needed to learn, that’s worked for me.
But now, I want to take it a little further. I want to take what I’ve learnt and pull out my understanding in the process. It’s a slightly different way of learning for me and one that the stuff I’ve done on writing craft over the last year has proved to me is a useful approach.
I have the structures in place to support it which is half the battle, I just need to start putting it into practise.
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