Take Note!

Five months ago I wrote something on reading and note-taking and made mention of the Zettelkasten Method, Evergreen Notes, Digital Gardens, Smart Notes and Second Brains. Let me try to provide some context and background to that: The Zettelkasten Method is a method of making notes and thinking about things and committing these thoughts to writing using slips of paper or index cards (zettels) that are stored in boxes or cases (kastens).

Read much not many

Something Bill Muehlenberg quoted on his site yesterday from CH Spurgeon has got me thinking. Bill quotes Spurgeon as follows: Master those books you have. Read them thoroughly. Bathe in them until they saturate you. Read and reread them, masticate and digest them. Let them go into your very self. Peruse a good book several times and make notes and analysis of it. A student will find that his mental constitution is more affected by one book thoroughly mastered than by twenty books he has merely skimmed.

Wikis revisited

Last year I posted some brief ponderings about a few different wikis. At the time I was intent on getting to grips with TiddlyWiki. I began doing that and used it within my employment for around 5 or 6 weeks. During that time I migrated my previous notes into TiddlyWiki and began using it to take notes during meetings and to record a range of tasks and activities. Shortly after that, however, I came across what was, for me, was a major hurdle.


My search for productivity tools that suit my platforms (linux @ home, windows @ work) and work philosophy (KISS, plain text preferred for transportability, not being locked into a particular tool or suite) continues. I’m now using TiddlyWiki for general notes - one wiki file for home stuff and another wiki file for work stuff. I use minimal formatting in the tiddlers, but try to make good use of tags so I can track/trace ideas.


Over the years I’ve searched for, tried, stopped using, used again, reconsidered, stopped using, considered some more on note-taking/recording/filing systems. Generally I’ve opted for computer-based systems but have also tried paper-based methods. The list is probably not complete, and in no particular order: Treepad Zim GTD Bullet Journalling CherryTree DIY Planner Written to do lists Online to do lists Spreadsheets with to do lists Pocket notebooks - cheap ones from the supermarket that only collect info, not retain it.

fenced kanban

A few months ago I read a brief article on a local news website about personal kanban and how it can help organise aspects of our lives. I’d only ever heard of kanban within the context of manufacturing environments so was intrigued enough to read the article, buy the book and eventually read the book. As a result I have recently begun to implement personal kanban without my work context. The book, Personal Kanban, is by Jim Benson and Tonianne deMaria Barry and was interesting, engaging and funny.