3 min read

Note-takers vs. Note-makers

Note-takers vs. Note-makers

Hey friends!

Today I'm going to tell you about something I have been enjoying recently; switching from being a note taker to being a note maker. What does that mean? Lets find out!

What is the difference between note taking and note making?

Note taking focuses on:

  • Writing down most of what you hear or read without necessarily processing the information
  • Rewriting content in a similar format to how the information is presented
  • Trying to cover most, or all, of the information without highlighting the main points or issues.
    Taking notes can be useful for a number of things but, in general, it is a passive approach to capturing information. This starkly contrasts with the more active approach of note-making.

Note making encourages you to think about things more intentionally, providing more value to yourself, and your projects, into the future. An example of note making would be when you're reading a book - instead of taking detailed notes whilst you're reading, you make notes later, making sense of the information by putting it into your own words.  "Note-makers are people who spend their thinking time in an active, engaged way—making sense of the stuff they encounter." - Nick Milo, The LYT Kit 6. For me, note making is proving to be a fun, engaging way of making sense of the world.

How can I become an effective note maker?

Step 1: Pick a good tool for you and your needs

The first step is deciding what note making application you will use.
There is no objective 'best' app out there; you simply need to find one which satisfies your needs and preferences, which in my case is Obsidian. (This article goes more in depth on this topic)
Ideally your app of choice allows you to link your notes together, as this will be necessary for effective note making further down the line.

Step 2: Create a note making system

Next, you want to formulate a note making system unique to you, one which encourages you to think laterally and make connections between your notes, one to not only archive your notes, but also organise and develop them far into the future. This is a picture of my note making system in Obsidian. Each dot in this "graph view" represents a note, and each line represents a link to another note.

There are online courses which guide you through the process of building a note making system to suit you and your needs, such as Linking Your Thinking Workshop by Nick Milo or Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte. In my case, I used Nick's free LYT Kit 6 to help build my system using Obsidian.

Step 3: Start note making!

Once you've picked your app and set up your system, you're ready to start note making!

Some of my favourite things

YouTube Playlist

These two playlist are great examples for setting up your own personal knowledge management system
Playlist one
Playlist two


Somehow very nostalgic for me. One of my all-time favourites.

Platform for encountering new ideas

Medium is a great website which hosts thousands of articles on pretty much any topic you can imagine. It even helped me formulate my thoughts for this newsletter!

Quote of the week

"Learn from others, then make it your own. You make something your own by keeping what works and throwing out what doesn’t." - Ellane W, The Best Note Making App isn’t Mem, Roam, or Obsidian

Have a great week!
Cheers, Toby