Optimal thought and optimal fitness through reason, logic, science, passion, and wisdom.
On Note-Taking
On Note-Taking

On Note-Taking

I teach principles in the concrete and in the abstract such as (1) visual variation, (2) using space as much as using content, (3) recording context, (4) logic. (Maybe you know all this already.)

The first, because the mind functions on contrast (and integration). This involves such concrete, obvious things as underlining or using color. You can get some good, excellent, insightful ideas from Edward Tufte.  (See also Table of Contents: New ET Writings, Artworks, News.)

The second is the same principle as used in architecture and music. Frank Lloyd Wright, among others, took space and light to be as important as structure and weight. Yo-Yo Ma, I think it was, said that what a musician does between notes is as important as what he/she does on and during a note.

The third is important in helping us grasp what details and examples exemplify or sum up to, in helping us remember what we were thinking, and in getting us started on integrating our knowledge.

The fourth…well, that’s obvious. QED. But we have to know what to subordinate, what to coordinate, what to use as a generalization, so we can know how to play space and content off each other and how to use visual variation. Variation should reflect, e.g., subordination — as when we indent.

These all relate to each other, of course!! Variation and logic interact; logic and context interact; using space and variation interact.

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