If You Want to Take Better Notes, Stop Doing This

A stupid mistake that made me lose 10 years (and end up with useless clutter)

Matt Giaro

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Photo by Tim Arterbury on Unsplash

I’m a note-taking grandpa.

I’ve been taking notes for over a decade and came to one painful realization. I’ve been just wasting my time. Why? Simply because most of the notes I took ended up being useless clutter.

Now let’s just see if I can save you years and turn your notes into something meaningful.

The note-taking litmus test

Does your note-taking workflow look similar to this?

1. You stumble across an idea that seems interesting
2. You dump this idea into your note-taking app
3. You classify this idea with a tag or by putting it into a folder
4. You go on with your lovely day.

Did you see a missing step here? Yes. It’s all about re-engaging in a meaningful way with your notes.

I don’t say that I didn’t open my note-taking app to browse through my “Categories.” In fact, I did. But when it came to standing out, I was just another parrot (or curator, if you prefer) of other ideas.

Don’t get me wrong. Being a curator is still valuable. But if you want to propel your business and career to the next level, you can’t afford simply being a curator. You have to be a creator.

Why categories are the evil

Folders and tags are two ways of classifying your notes.

While they give you a good sense of order, they create invisible barriers between your ideas.

Our brains are powerful machines. And they come up with new ideas mainly when we focus on something else then the problem we want to solve.

How often did a great idea spark while driving or taking a shower? Here you have your passive genius in action.

Our brain does not process information simply by tagging or placing it in a folder. Nope. Our brain uses links between neurons (called synapses) to develop new ideas.

What about this analogy:
Our brain is our note-taking app. The giant container that Holds everything. Inside this giant container are a bunch of notes (our virtual neurons). And those notes are connected between them using links.

So if you want to truly mimic how your brain works and create a real second brain, it’s not about using more folders or tags… it’s all about using backlinks.

Backlinks allow you to break the invisible barriers to your creativity. They allow you to make interesting connections between unrelated fields. Using backlinks in note-taking gives you an unfair advantage.

Do you want to take better notes? Sign up for my FREE 7-Day Email course by clicking here (Safe link to my website)

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Matt Giaro

6 Figure Creator. Helping experts turn their ideas into income with online content (in just 2h/day.) Start now 👉 https://mattgiaro.com/medium