#83: A Note on Note-taking

Is it useful? Or just plain pretty?

The more clear your system is, the easier you'll be able to find your notes again later. After all, what good is taking notes if you never use them again? – Belle Cooper, How to Take Effective Notes


I used to want my note-taking system to be nothing but pretty. When I was trying bullet journaling, I cared more about the colors of my highlighters than the items I'm listing on the pages. When I was setting up my second brain on different platforms, I fuzzed over how my notes look more than how I could actually use them when writing content.

But as my digital system continues to evolve, I've learned to assess a tool's utility instead of simply using it because it's pretty.

Instead of spending hours formatting my notes, I focus on setting them up in a way that they'd be accessible when I need them. Full disclosure: I almost adopted a new app because it has a very minimalist design but when I realized how much time I've spent organizing notes in it instead of writing new pieces, I ditched it went back to the app where I could focus more on creating and connecting ideas.

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