February 5, 2024

Three Habits That Will 10x Your Note-Taking Routine


Posted by Sharmarke Hujale


2 min read

I believed for a long time that I had to take notes on everything because I thought I needed to know it all.

Note-taking stopped being fun and started feeling like a chore. I complicated things instead of keeping them simple for myself.

As a result, most of my notes ended up irrelevant and unused.

It turned out my note-taking wasn’t intentional. I was just robotically writing down everything without thinking why.

And over time, when I’d revisit my old notes, I’d have no clue why I wrote them in the first place.

If you also find yourself overcomplicating your note-taking, here are some tips that have helped me:

1) Focus on what stands out

This was tough for me at first. Instead of trying to capture everything, I rewired my mind to zero in on what really speaks to me or gives me that “aha” moment.

I do that by asking myself why a particular piece caught my attention. It’s a signal; it shouldn’t be ignored. This habit has helped me become more selective in what I read, and it made gathering information more enjoyable.

2) Leave a note for your future self

Before, when I used to highlight something, I’d just rephrase the information. But today, when I highlight something, I’ll add a note with either a curious question to explore further, why I found a sentence or paragraph intriguing, or add my own perspective (if I have one).

Doing either of these three things brings a more proactive, and engaging approach to my note-taking instead of just rephrasing a piece of information (as you do in school).

3) Write about the ideas

Going back to my notes later to write about them puts me in a better position to expand on those thoughts. This writing practice doesn’t just make my notes more valuable — it deepens my understanding too.

Implementing these three habits have helped me transition from a hoarder of information to actually creating meaningful knowledge.

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