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Asking the right questions when taking notes

edited November 15 in Writing

Hi all,

I find that I have these great ideas in my head but it becomes a challenge at times transferring those thoughts on paper.

The same issue goes for taking notes. I often pose questions about the subject I am reading. But what are the “correct” questions I sometimes ask myself.

Can anyone recommend a book on the subject.
I heard lots about Getting Things Done but wanted to know if others had other critics thinking methods.

Post edited by sfast on

Comments

  • @masterful

    I don't think I understand the problems well. Here are my interpretations:

    1. You struggle to write about ideas you come up with.
    2. You want to know what are the right questions to ask while reading.

    Are they right?

  • edited November 14

    Specifically to the discussion's title, "How to take smart notes" has a list of questions for note taking. They cover both your own ideas and those you read about. You mentioned before you have (had?) the book so that might be helpful. I'd simply compare these questions with your own and see if they match up.

    GTD has its focus on todo lists rather than note taking. Thinking tools is yet another big topic. You can mix and blend but this doesn't seem to be what you're looking for...

    Post edited by zk_1000 on

    my first Zettel uid: 202008120915

  • @Annabella_Zelsky said:
    @masterful

    I don't think I understand the problems well. Here are my interpretations:

    1. You struggle to write about ideas you come up with.
    2. You want to know what are the right questions to ask while reading.

    Are they right?

    Hi annabelle , yes that’s correct.
    I didn’t formulate my question properly.

    Just wanted to know if there are other books that people can recommend. I read the blog posts by sacha about writing. Very good stuff.

    I sometimes get blocked by translating what’s in my mind to writing it on paper. It’s so clear in my mind and at times doesn’t translate well.

  • @masterful

    Don't worry about the formulation. I too deal with that. Just look at the discussions I opened. The actual questions or problems show up several comments later, haha.

    I have a few books in my shame list that I haven't read, but you might find them useful. They are:

    • New Directions in Writing Theory by John R. Hayes
    • How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing by Paul J. Silvia
    • How to Write a Thesis by Umberto Eco

    I'll probably burn down the list, though.

    I'm not sure what your approach is, but I'd like to make the suggestion anyways. Go for the sword in the stone and don't bother about all the gold lying around. In other words, look for the solution to your problem. Don't pay too much attention to other stuff. It may look nice, but it's usually a waste of time. At least that's how I do it and it pays off.

  • Can second the recommendations for "How to Write a Lot" and "How to Write a Thesis" (from today's perspective, in that order. Very practical books.

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

  • How to Write a Lot might be the best book on non-fiction writing I ever read.

    I am a Zettler

  • @Annabella_Zelsky No worries, I have multiple lists of book recommendations on writing that I've yet to read

  • @masterful

    Don't show me that. :cold_sweat: Beware of the Collector's Fallacy. It hurts so much, man. I'm dealing with a backlog right now. Good thing that I erased my books list. Less to deal with.

    Good luck with your reading. I hope you do better than me!

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