Monday, February 24, 2020

Take Notes to Think Well: Apps you can use

I am still reading Sören Ahrens's How to Take Smart Notes and this topic has been filling my mind these few days. 

I have shared it with my colleagues and friends and some of them are looking forward for me share insights from my study, which I will definitely post a review here soon, when I'm done with the reading, note-taking and thinking.

But one thing that I also find interesting is the many apps and platforms out there for us to use for note taking and journalling. 

And I use quite a few of them. You would think that I should just settle on one but I found that using different note and journal apps for different purposes serves me rather well.

Here are the ones I use and I highly recommend them.

I used Notes in my iPhone when I was using my Apple gadgets but when I went full-on Android, Evernote is my choice for all my notes. I store them in separate Notepads for easy reference. I even take photos of my pen-and-paper notes and store them here for easy access. The only problem is since I did not pay for it, I can no longer send notes in via email as much as I like. 

I use this as a prayer and journaling app. I was using Diaro before but when I travelled to Seoul in December last year, I wanted to use a different app as my travel journal but ended up just sticking to one. Journey and Diaro is somewhat similar but I prefer the feel and user interface of Journey. I write in my personal thoughts and my prayers here. It is also very useful when I need to vent and when I need to sort out my thoughts and emotions. 

I started using this a learning journal to note down one thing I learn every day. It started off well but soon I found myself forcing the daily learning points and so I stopped. But I stuck on with the photo calendar. I can view all the days in all the months in thumbnails and it does give me a big picture of how I spent my days. And with just a glance, I can see the significance of every single day. I like the feel that I have spent my days well. Well, some days at least!

This is what I am excited about now - Trello. It all started when I needed to sign up for an online conference next month that will last for 4 days with a crazy number of podcasts to listen to. I started to Google for smarter ways to take notes which was when I found Trello, which was also when I found Sönke Ahrens's book on How to Take Smart Notes. I have started to practice using the Slip Box in Trello and so far so good. If you want to know how a Slip Box work, wait for my blogpost on it. But in the meantime, do check out Trello. While the other note and journaling apps are straightforward linear ones, Trello is nothing but. You can create boards and lists and cards, and move them all around, which work perfectly well for a Slip Box. And if you check it out online, you will also see people using it for Scrum and sprints. It's quite powerful.

And here I must quote Niklas Luhmann (again), who created the Slip Box: one cannot think without writing. 

So we all do need to write, to take notes, to journal. It's the only way we can think good and think well. 


1 comment:

  1. Hi Pearlie! I have heard of Zettelkasten before and thought about trying it. Does Ahren's book describe how to use Trello to implement it? Thanks, Les.