How Note Taking Can Help You Beat Information Overload

How Note Taking Can Help You Beat Information Overload 2

Rob Kerridge*

How Note Taking Can Help You Beat Information Overload 3Information overload is one of the tsunamis that threatens us daily, weekly, monthly. The sheer volume of information coming at us online is so vast that we either give up, drowning in digital data, images and text, or we somehow learn how to actually assimilate and use the information that can improve our lives.

Consider the fact that every day there are now 48 hours of new video online every minute of every day.

And also that 571 new websites come along every minute of every day.

And that 5 billion people worldwide are using mobile phones as you read this.

It’s wearying.

And if you’re a lawyer, or anyone, trying to make sense of some of this stuff that is actually worthwhile and can improve our lives, our businesses, our relationships . . then how do we go about handling all that “overload”?

How Note Taking Can Help You Beat Information Overload 4Which brings me to an article on Medium written by Ryan Holiday, the best selling author of ‘Ego is the Enemy’ and other books.

His article looks at how you can not only read more but also remember what you’ve read.

You need to read the Medium piece, but in essence the Holiday method involves some simple facts, based around the value of books.

He notes –

Whatever problem you’re struggling with is probably addressed in some book somewhere written by someone a lot smarter than you.

He points out that reading the book(s) you require to make you better, happier, more wealthy, more accomplished in any field . . is to make reading a priority.

You then need to make reading part of your daily routine.  It’s not a luxury or a chore.  It’s a necessity.

It doesn’t matter that not all books are read any time soon – Holiday calls it building your ‘anti-library’ that will humble you and tell you how much you still have to learn.

Make reading an active endeavor. It’s not a passive thing, but something where you have to think actively and take notes of key points made in books. You can then keep the notes you make in an organized system (see below) so you can build up an effective reference library of content and key tips.

The notetaking “marginalia” is something that can be used by anyone, anytime for tips, quotes, key references and other helpful content for life and business.

He’s also big on making the most of books that provide anything of use – and quitting those that fail to hold interest or provide the sort of value you’re looking for.

Similarly, reading widely provides more “ammo” for doing more and knowing more.

a look at any random sampling of successful people finds a common trait: a love of books and an education that was primarily self-driven.

The fact that so many great and successful people read – often applying very old ideas and concepts to modern or present-day issues – is abundantly evident.

Some Modern Apps

To help with the ‘maginalia’ there are also apps that can assist in developing your notes.

Here are 3 –

How Note Taking Can Help You Beat Information Overload 51. Gingko App – This is a great tool to help organize content, lists, ideas into a nice, seamless interface.

Using a card hierarchy system, Gingko permits information to be organized logically and to be able to pull data out of the ‘mix’ to use and develop at will.  Fantastic and a must for those lawyers and others seeking to make the most of the information they’re confronted with.


How Note Taking Can Help You Beat Information Overload 62. Evernote – A terrific tool to let you organize information, data and content across multiple devices and to make you more efficient and to also provide immediate access to the content.

The tool permits the ability to clip content online or offline and regardless of file type, sharing the content if necessary or simply assembling it in a manner that is useful and, of course, accessible.

The ability to share content across multiple devices is a major plus that makes the content more valuable for daily use and a terrific tool for productivity and general organisation.

How Note Taking Can Help You Beat Information Overload 73. Zapier – For those who use multiple apps, Zapier is a great tool that lets you move easily between them, saving time and making the whole process so much easier.

Whether its Google Docs or Dropbox, Zapier lets you ‘zap’ between apps easily and seamlessly so that you can quickly and efficiently organize information.


Author Bio
*Rob Kerridge is a social media and information technology consultant and writer, based in Vancouver. He also consults with law firms on blogging and related issues.



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