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How do you manage knowledge/information

Qeno

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Hello,
at the moment I am working on a container vessel and have some free time. When I finish, I would like to try starting a business again.
Right now I would like to make the basics right to have it easier when I am at shore again.
I used to collect information I deemed important to me and wrote it down in one general document. For books, I used to summarize them. For some skills (like negotiate) I made extra pages, because they deemed more important to me. Then I would read every week the general document, a book summary and an extra page to try to get as much from them as possible. That worked out not as good as I liked it, that's why I would like to change it.
The goal should be to collect easy, fast and efficient important information to learn something from them in the long run. Either by knowing it or by looking it up. What do you think?
How do you manage your knowledge and information? What do you do when you watched a video and found something important to you, or read a book with lots of helpful tips and tricks that you can use either right now or in the next few weeks? For me, it feels like I have to write it down, because otherwise I would forget it more or less immediately. I already try to write down only things that would really help me later. Is it maybe just too much consumption from my side, so that the general amount of information should be way less?


The only solution I came up with is to put information into to categorize:
  1. Information like tips for negotiating get into a separate document where I can find everything related to negotiation. When I'm heading into a negotiation, I'll look this document up and get the things that are important for this specific event.
  2. Information that are useful every day, that should be somewhere in my mind (for instance that some problems need to be solved and that some are just dichotomies that need to be manged). These will be put into another software and learned with spaced repetition. This amount should be as small as possible.
  3. Information that is not necessary to me right now or in the next few weeks: will be categorized and saved for later use.


What do you think about this solution? Am I just overthinking this?


Thank you very much in advance!
 
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Roli

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Hello,
at the moment I am working on a container vessel and have some free time. When I finish, I would like to try starting a business again.
Right now I would like to make the basics right to have it easier when I am at shore again.
I used to collect information I deemed important to me and wrote it down in one general document. For books, I used to summarize them. For some skills (like negotiate) I made extra pages, because they deemed more important to me. Then I would read every week the general document, a book summary and an extra page to try to get as much from them as possible. That worked out not as good as I liked it, that's why I would like to change it.
The goal should be to collect easy, fast and efficient important information to learn something from them in the long run. Either by knowing it or by looking it up. What do you think?
How do you manage your knowledge and information? What do you do when you watched a video and found something important to you, or read a book with lots of helpful tips and tricks that you can use either right now or in the next few weeks? For me, it feels like I have to write it down, because otherwise I would forget it more or less immediately. I already try to write down only things that would really help me later. Is it maybe just too much consumption from my side, so that the general amount of information should be way less?


The only solution I came up with is to put information into to categorize:
  1. Information like tips for negotiating get into a separate document where I can find everything related to negotiation. When I'm heading into a negotiation, I'll look this document up and get the things that are important for this specific event.
  2. Information that are useful every day, that should be somewhere in my mind (for instance that some problems need to be solved and that some are just dichotomies that need to be manged). These will be put into another software and learned with spaced repetition. This amount should be as small as possible.
  3. Information that is not necessary to me right now or in the next few weeks: will be categorized and saved for later use.


What do you think about this solution? Am I just overthinking this?


Thank you very much in advance!

The short answer is flash cards, the much better and detailed answer is, read the book Ultra Learners. That book will give you all the answers you need and will sharpen your mind towards learning.
 

Andy Black

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Look up "build a second brain" on Google or YouTube, or maybe even ask ChatGPT.

Also, your goal isn't to learn and catalogue your learnings. It's to help people, and get paid.

In case you're in the "learning" rabbit-hole/script:
 
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pmusu

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I mostly use Notion. Sometimes Google Docs but connection between multiple docs gets messy quite easily.
 

leebut

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When learning coding, I used to use markdown documents and Obsidian, but now I commit to my mind rather than a file. I have memorised more concepts by not taking notes than when I used to.

Get information into long-term memory as quickly as possible. I review original sources rather than notes to get the process going. In my opinion, information written down is waiting to be forgotten or never properly encoded in the first place. That said, notes of unrecorded speeches/lectures are useful.
 

Qeno

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Look up "build a second brain" on Google or YouTube, or maybe even ask ChatGPT.

Also, your goal isn't to learn and catalogue your learnings. It's to help people, and get paid.

In case you're in the "learning" rabbit-hole/script:
Thank you. I'll look it up.
Does it make then reading a book etc worth it only when one has started on doing something (new) and gotten to a problem?

When learning coding, I used to use markdown documents and Obsidian, but now I commit to my mind rather than a file. I have memorised more concepts by not taking notes than when I used to.

Get information into long-term memory as quickly as possible. I review original sources rather than notes to get the process going. In my opinion, information written down is waiting to be forgotten or never properly encoded in the first place. That said, notes of unrecorded speeches/lectures are useful.
So you would only take notes to save something that would otherwise be forgotten? And are these then notes or just summaries/ an overview of what was talked about?
 
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Andy Black

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I think about it different. If I watch a video about a subject and forget most of it then I see it as my brain filtering out things that aren't applicable. The one or two things that resonate are all I need or care about.

If you could only take away ONE thing from a book, podcast, or video then what would it be?

I bet you'd do better taking away one thing than trying to document all the things your brain found forgettable.
 

pmusu

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I think about it different. If I watch a video about a subject and forget most of it then I see it as my brain filtering out things that aren't applicable. The one or two things that resonate are all I need or care about.

If you could only take away ONE thing from a book, podcast, or video then what would it be?

I bet you'd do better taking away one thing than trying to document all the things your brain found forgettable.

I have a different take on books:

Most books stand upon one single idea. Good books might have two original thoughts. Three or more make an outstanding piece. The extensive length of books fills a purpose though, it helps us to internalize the message.

I challenge anybody to watch 10 summary videos about books. I'm sure that if the following week I ask them to describe what any of those books are about, they will have a very diffuse idea about them.

Reading requires your undivided attention to move forward. Reading is an active activity. If you don't pay attention, you don't advance. No pain no gain. Videos will keep playing even if you are not paying attention. Your brain can tune out and the video will not stop. Watching is a passive activity.

Books force us to engage. If technology made that process effortless, we wouldn't be extracting the same quality content from books. It's precisely due to the effort we need to apply that the lessons stick with us.

“We do not learn from experience... we learn from reflecting on experience.” - John Dewey. In the same way, we learn not from what we read but from thinking about what we read.
 

Jobless

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I collect long-term ideas in Evernote, and really this is like collecting stamps or butterflies. I might look at the ideas 6 months from now, but it's mostly useless. Really this practice frees up my mind up to focus on the here and now, as I have already collected so many ideas that ideas themselves cease to matter.

For short-term memory when working, I write on a piece of paper, or a notebook, or napkin, on my phone... I will never read this document after today, so the medium does not matter.

When I discover a really useful idea I immediately place it in my schedule. So, it becomes actionable, and there is a date and time where I plan to do it. If the idea is speculative and hard to define, then I schedule time to research it. If the idea is huge and will take a lot of work, I schedule time to fully plan it out and estimate the time required. At most, I do this 1-3 weeks ahead in my schedule. If there's not time to do it within that time, it's usually low priority-- In some cases these tasks/ideas can be delegated.
 
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cYn

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What do you think about this solution? Am I just overthinking this?

I don't believe you're overthinking it. To me the best solution is the one that produces the results you want. If you're partially getting the results you want, you should iterate on your current solution to make it better. If you're not getting any results, you should scrap what you have and experiment with new solutions.

Over the years I've mistakenly adopted so many note taking systems from others. What I realize is their system has worked for them through their own refinement.

I have my own method using Google Tasks, Obsidian, and ABCDE Method. I have refined it to make it work for me.

Take the ABCDE method linked above. I just do ABC. 3 is all I need and it's easier to remember. I sometimes have multiple C tasks I want to knock out that day. I also sometimes complete C task as the first thing because it helps me build momentum.

On the topic of managing information, I add T to my list of tasks. Any time a good idea or "Thought" comes into mind, I add it and mark it as T. I would revisit my T tasks and expand it more in Obsidian. Sometimes I drop a T task from my list because it no longer sparks anything to expand on.

You do not have to follow any rules. Make it work for you. Discover different ways to do things, but don't feel you need to be strict. The goal is to not put any more mental load on something that is suppose to help you daily.
 

leebut

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So you would only take notes to save something that would otherwise be forgotten? And are these then notes or just summaries/ an overview of what was talked about?
What I'm getting at is that in my opinion, notes can enable forgetfulness or lack of desire to encode information to the brain in the first place. People used to remember hundreds of phone numbers, but now, do they? Perhaps some do, but I'd guess that most people don't bother because they only need to touch a button. I wonder why password manager companies do so well. Most of my passwords are in my brain.

I'm learning Chinese Mandarin, and I have zero notes, since handwriting is not my priority right now. I focus on what is in front of me, and if I need to reference anything, it is always the source material not my erroneous interpretation of it. Writing a tonne of notes takes me out of the flow. My time is best served with practice and mental visualisation.

Notes are a less useful copy of what's already printed, and then the notes get forgotten as well, "what was this note about?", might come to mind.

Why not just reference page numbers of a book, with a short heading? Then, the original material can be read without any personally induced deviation from it. I did that for a dissertation, and since many of the materials were digital, they had digital highlighters all over them. The paper pages got scanned, and then I went mad with my highlighters and pens to boxing important information. I had no notes, but I did have a mind map that connected headings, page numbers, and URLs. It must have worked because I got a distinction.

When listening live, there is hardly any time to note more than a few key words, and then remember the rest. That said, recording speeches/lectures would function as an audiobook of sorts, which can be referred to later with complete attention. Again, the source material beats scrappy notes.

After all of that, it's up to you. There are plenty of great methods that other people have posted.
 
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Effective knowledge management is crucial in today's information age: Implement a central system to store and organize information for easy access. Ensure the accuracy of content by reviewing and updating it regularly. Foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among team members. Invest in training to improve skills and understanding. Proper knowledge management can improve productivity and give you a competitive advantage.
 
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Cameraman

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I've followed the advice in the book Build a Second Brain for almost two years. I'm using Microsoft One Note to capture everything, and the notebook is on the cloud, so I can use it on mobile devices as well. It's saved me a lot of time, made me more productive, and helped me implement ideas.

You can also use other tools with the book, but OneDrive works great for me. I like how it captures everything from bits of text to video. Anything I create, especially things I might want to use again, like Affiliate Tracking links, goes into One Drive. It's then just a copy-and-paste exercise to add them to new content. That's just one example.

Build a Second Brain definitely frees up your mind and time to focus on the important stuff.
 

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