Struggling to Absorb the Latest Research in your Field? This May Help.

Andy Narracott

Andy Narracott

In our family, it’s a running joke that if we forget something, we blame Coronavirus.

The symptoms are loss of taste, smell and memory right?*

Coronavirus or not, the human brain is not great at storing information.

As a knowledge worker, this is a problem. I need to stay abreast of the latest research in my field and apply it when needed.

Enter digital note taking apps. I first started using Evernote in 2004 and last year moved to Roam. The world of note taking is the kind of thing my inner geek loves, so let me show you my workflow.

It’s comprised of four steps: capture, organise, distil and express.

Capture: When I first come across information, I’ll take a few seconds to skim. If it’s relevant, I’ll save it to Instapaper (or Liner if it’s a PDF.)

Organise: I use the highlighter tool to save words, phrases or paragraphs that resonate with me. There’s an option to save a brief note with the highlight, so I’ll use that to capture my thoughts. I export these highlights to my note taking app and attach 2-3 tags which will help when searching at a later time.

Distil: I’ll then translate the highlighted text into my own words. This forces me to understand it.

Express: I use my notes when writing emails, preparing a presentation, writing a report or creating a blog post. I’ll use them as they are, or they’ll spark a new idea which I’ll save for later use.

It’s not too late to start your own workflow. Start today and become a powerful knowledge worker as you see your notes compound over time.

Even better, you’ll be virus proof.

*Warning: my sick sense of humour may distort some facts.

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