Summary of how to take smart notes

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00:00:00 - 00:45:00

This video discusses the importance of taking smart notes and how they can help students in their academic studies. It introduces the "notes-taking system" of Johannes Caston, which is based on six notes a day, indexing each note by number and letter. Finally, it provides an example of how this system can be used by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Fineman.

  • 00:00:00 Sanka introduces the concept of "smart notes," which are notes that capture the thinker's thoughts and ideas in a way that is both accessible and useful. He discusses the importance of taking smart notes and the various methods that are available to help students achieve this goal. Finally, he introduces Richard Fineman, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, who provides an example of a person who takes smart notes seriously.
  • 00:05:00 The author of the video discusses the idea that smart notes take more time and effort than simply writing down what you are thinking on paper. Niklas Luhmann, an academic hero, used this system to produce dozens of books and articles over the course of 30 years. The author also discusses how Luhmann never forced himself to do anything and that his method of working was based on ease and laziness. He finds this approach very attractive and believes that it can be used to improve any academic field.
  • 00:10:00 The video introduces the "notes-taking system" of Johannes Caston, which is based on six notes a day, indexing each note by number and letter. The system is surprisingly simple and efficient, and can be used for any type of writing.
  • 00:15:00 This video discusses how to take smart notes efficiently, which differs from how most students are taught in higher education. The main difference is that the workflow enforced in this video is a streamline, standardized approach that enables you to build up a critical mass of ideas. This method is helpful in developing ideas, not just storing information. The main features of this method are note sequences and indices, which are helpful in getting information quickly into the thinker's mind.
  • 00:20:00 The video discusses how to take smart notes and how they aren't just records of what we think, but that we think in our notes "the whole picture changes." Feynman's advice is to focus on the workflow of taking notes, and not just the content itself. If you want to improve your note-taking skills, Feynman suggests starting by writing a rough draft of what you want to say, and then putting the notes in order after that.
  • 00:25:00 The video discusses the importance of taking smart notes and how a top-down approach (starting with a question) often leads to conflicts of interest when it comes to having insight and getting things done. A bottom-up approach (starting with material and working with it) allows for more flexibility and allows for understanding to develop in the writer. This understanding can be turned into writing in a sentence and connecting that writing to previous notes. This process becomes more concrete with focus on the process instead of the outcome.
  • 00:30:00 The author recommends interleaving notes to help learning vocabulary.
  • 00:35:00 To be creative, focus on different forms of attention throughout the day, and keep factual information in one place.
  • 00:40:00 The presenter explains that digital versions of the "Settle Caston" note-taking system can be easy to use and can develop over time. He argues that this tool could be like the lever used to change the way higher education works, because students would be given the opportunity to learn the skill of independent research instead of following plans or checklists.
  • 00:45:00 The speaker describes how to take smart notes using different methods, including using paper cards, a to-do list, and a personal digital assistant. He stresses the importance of having a system that is easy to use and transferable to different locations. He also points out the differences between the Subtle Caston note-taking system and other note-taking tools.

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