How to Take Smart Notes

One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking

Paperback, 188 pages

English language

Published March 9, 2022 by Sönke Ahrens.


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4 stars (4 reviews)

This is the second, revised and expanded edition. The first edition was published under the slightly longer title "How to Take Smart Notes. One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking - for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers".

The key to good and efficient writing lies in the intelligent organisation of ideas and notes. This book helps students, academics and other knowledge workers to get more done, write intelligent texts and learn for the long run. It teaches you how to take smart notes and ensure they bring you and your projects forward.

The Take Smart Notes principle is based on established psychological insight and draws from a tried and tested note-taking technique: the Zettelkasten. This is the first comprehensive guide and description of this system in English, and not only does it explain how it works, but also why. It suits students and academics in the social …

4 editions

Review of 'How to Take Smart Notes' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

The ideas behind the book are good, but they're lost far and between the author's praises of the slip-box method. The amount of time spent explaining versus praising it is surprisingly low. Granted, it is a simple method, but the book would still do a good job explaining it at less than half its length. There are almost no examples -- the author does state some common pitfalls and that you need to trust your intuition, but at least one comprehensive example would have been nice.

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5 stars
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3 stars