The PKM-course that I’m participating in at the moment really got me to think about the way I make sense of the things I read and listen to. This was also one of my purposes for participating, so I’m glad that the plan is working 😉
In my previous post I wrote about improving my sense making habits by restructuring Evernote and redefining my workflow for blog ideas. This still works great, though in the meantime I added something very relevant to this.
If I find a valuable article, I save it to Evernote and read it there. I do this because in Evernote I can immediately highlight the parts of the text that are most important to me and I create a small ‘summary’ at the top of the article. This is what I was already doing for a few months now.
What I added since last week, is that if I find something really insightful in an article, I put this (preferably) in my own words in another Evernote note, called ‘Important insights’. Of course, I also copy the link to the note with the full article and paste it above the insight, together with the author’s name and the date of the article. At this moment I think that maybe I should also add the date of my own insight, because I could also have insights about articles, books or podcasts that are a few years old.
I don’t know yet exactly what the long term solution will look like for collecting these insights. Maybe with one note per month, or one note per insight? Probably the first option, because I like it to read them in one flow, so they start to make more sense. Though by collecting them individually, I can add tags to each insight which might also be very useful. And I can always copy them later into one note or merge them, or maybe even let IFTTT do the work 😉
Other ideas are welcome of course! Where do you keep your insights? Do you collect them together or separately (where, how?)
A final thought about this for this moment: Yes, of course it takes more time to write the insights, but I think that these written insights are the best reflection of my own knowledge at that point in time. It’s not the summary of the article. The summary are the author’s insights. These are mine and if I don’t ‘grab’ these, they will soon become ‘obvious’ thoughts for me, and disappear into my ‘background thinking’. And that has already happend too many times before.