Write down what you consume, or lose it

Reading time: 2 min

Everything we consume is lost to time if we don't write it down. Humans readily forget.

Every book, article and paper you've read.
Every video and documentary you've watched.
Your memories from interactions with other people and your life happenings.

To me, these are precious things my current self can save for my future self.

By capturing these in my combined notes system, they enter a box of ideas I can reach into. My written memories and thoughts can then be re-discovered and reused by my future self.

Over these past two years, I really got into thinking about how much knowledge I've consumed over the course of my lifetime, and how I've forgotten most of it.

Only in the past two and a half years did I pick up regular journalling (or rather just 'daily notes') as an effortless rolling habit throughout my day. Since Standard Notes (SN) is so easily accessible across so many platforms, using SN to do primary capturing is frictionless.

Only then did I really start capturing my rolling thoughts and memories as well as noteworthy media and resources I go through.

Back to the main point. Capturing stuff you consumed in the form of notes. How much you should write for each source could probably become a field of study in itself.

I tend to write out of my immediate thoughts and interests on a subject. I tend to put enough detail and context for myself to understand in the future. Obviously, this does increase the length of each note and time I have to spend, but this is the trade off to make it possible to interpret by my future self, after I forget the context and details. (Tiago Forte, the person behind Building A Second Brain covers this problem of compression vs context quite well in this post.)


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