kei’s notes

How To Take Smart Notes

How To Take Smart Notes is a guidebook on the information management, written and self-published by Sönke Ahrens in 2014.

The book

The book can be divided into two sections.

The first sections (ch. 1–4) introduces the ‘slip-box’ system (or Zettelkasten in German), which was made famous by a prolific sociologist Niklas Luhmann from the 20th century whose research works and publications branches across amazingly diverse disciplines.

The second sections first problematises how creative work is often misregarded and performed rather ineffectively or counter-intuitively (ch. 5–8). It then offers arguments how a slip-box system can function as an idea multiplier when paired with a proper mindset (ch. 9–14).

The review

This book analyses steps we should consider in our information consumption habit. It provides support for why an external scaffolding structure (like the slip-box) can help retaining, transforming and developing ideas. It guides the reader to reflect on their workflow, habits and personal knowledge management.

If you feel like having read a lot every day without recalling or being able to apply much of anything, this book could be a good entry point on to a solution-seeking path.

Last update: 2021-02-13

How To Take Smart Notes