How to Take Smart Notes with Org-mode

Thinking, Note-Taking
How to Take Smart Notes With Org-mode | blog

This is a blog about how the author of org-roam (Jethro Kuan) takes notes and utilizes org-roam to organize his thinking.

“Note-taking is Not Just a Precursor to Writing”

Quote from Richard Feynman : “Notes aren’t a record of my thinking process. They are my thinking process.”

Process of writing:

  1. Find topic/research question
  2. Research/find literature
  3. Read and take notes
  4. Draw conclusions/ outline text
  5. Write

This suggests writing is linear, but infact research and writing are non-linear processes with all these ideas taking place together. All these ideas coming into your brain and being processed can often be overwhelming, and ideas or thoughts can be lost to this stream of thought.

Instead consider if you had another brain, which you could organize and have topics surface when you need them. This is the idea behind the Zettelkasten method. This is where org-roam comes in.

Some details on using org-roam:

  • Create a new note using org-roam-find-file
  • Create tags and links using org-roam-insert-link
  • Insert links liberally and add todos to fill out new notes.
  • Exploit bi-directional linking to its fullest extent.

An interesting habit I saw was in dumping the zettle into a website using ox-hugo. This is something I will look at next for my note taking habits (i.e. today).