Tinderbox Forum

Another note taking article

I hope everyone here is keeping well, this is a little off the wall but you may be interested in this article on a historian’s note taking.Here



Welcome @rjdreid – all advice on note-taking is welcome here. It’s what we do :slight_smile:

And I have to say (sorry if this snarky for some) it is absolutely refreshing to read something that is not in the vein of zettelkasten-or-roam-will-set-you-free. Or doesn’t describe note-taking as a “workflow” or “productivity”. IMO, note-taking is an art, not a practice to be perfected. It is a lifelong venture more than a goal-directed slog.

Mr. Thomas’s envelope technique reminds me of someone else’s method – is it Robert Caro who does similar? Perhaps not.

I hope you find more to share here

I loved Caro’s recent book Working. Especially his tip to always look at both sides of every document.


Working is fantastic, a great read while waiting for the next volume. Odd to be so keen to read it, when you know how it all ends.

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Your comment about the zettelkasten fever is spot on. It reminds me of when David Allen first arrived on the scene with the GTD method. There were many applications focused on implementing the method as if it were the panacea for all of our time management issues. At first, I was intrigued by the zettelkasten approach, but it really did not last long for me. I am back to note-taking methods that are well worn with some slight improvements generally around saving time when triaging content in books and articles.

“roam will set you free”

That was funny. I must admit I am a little puzzled with the “Roam” fever. But you know what they say…

All roads lead to …

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HI @regan, would you mind listing some of your methods and resources?

  1. I use Tinderbox for what I call high level conceptual mapping.
  2. I use OPML extracts from OmniOutliner -->Workflowy. See Tinderbox topic Tinderbox as a QDA app for a basic description of the process I use. Additionally, since the time of that posting, workflowy recently implemented the concept of fractal boards that I am using as an annotation tool.
  3. For writing, I use Scrivener aided by Zotero and a plugin that extracts highlighted text in PDFs that can then be imported via RTF into Scrivener. I then use the split screen option in Scrivener to reference and write. The entire process is described here: https://daily.jstor.org/how-to-use-zotero-and-scrivener-for-research-driven-writing/
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