Newsletter #53: How to Grok Networked Thinking, Take Better Notes, and Remember What You Learn

Ramses Oudt
Ramses Oudt
Newsletter #53: How to Grok Networked Thinking, Take Better Notes, and Remember What You Learn

Happy New Year, fellow lovers of knowledge!

I hope you've all had a wonderful time during the holidays and a safe New Year's Eve. Whatever this year may bring, may we handle it with wisdom.

In case you've missed last week's newsletter: sorry! I decided last minute to skip it for once as to not burn myself out. Staying with my girlfriend's family in Italy meant getting overwhelmed by a new language—not to mention the insane amounts of food Italians eat during Christmas. December was also my first month with Logseq, which meant taking over the cultivation of a community of over 10,000 curious minds. All in all, my year's end was intense.

But 2021 has been an intense overall. It was my first full year ever being self-employed, and the uncertainty I faced messed with my emotions more than once. Coupled with mounting totalitarianism in Europe, I felt I needed to take time to slow down and reflect. Next week I'll publish my full annual review, which will be another first for me.

As I'm going all-in on learning Italian this year—I've been spending about 2 hours each day for the past two months—I'm also busy documenting my reading workflow. If you're considering learning a new language this year, this will be a must-read. As always, my workflow can be applied to both Roam and Logseq.

No matter your goals for this year, I'm sure you'll be looking at the different Tools for Thought to help you. In this week's newsletter I have again selected a wealth of resources. Hopefully, they'll help you better collect ideas in your second brain and feed them to your first brain.

Let's dig in.

🕸 An introduction to networked thinking

Discovering Roam Research introduced me to the idea of networked/graph-based thinking. While not obvious at first, I had to change how I normally think by writing. Instead of rambling in linear long form, using Roam forced me to think in more atomic pieces and connect those in a separate step.

Frankly, I have no clear idea how I learned this way of thinking. I guess it's mostly through observation and doing, but I realize not everyone has the patience to spend months struggling while figuring out how to write in a graph-based system.

That's why on Tuesday the 4th and Thursday the 6th of January I'm organizing (identical) events to dig deep into the concept of networked thinking. We'll looking at fundamentals of Logseq and how they enable us to think through complex problems.

If you've been treating tools like Roam or Logseq like just another note-taking or outliner tool, I hope you'll be attending. While I will be teaching the fundamental concepts of graph-based thinking, I also want to take the time to hear your struggles. Together, we can get to the root of why this way of thinking is so hard and start finding ways to make it easier to do.

Register for the 4th of January and see the start time in your local time.

Register for the 6th of January and see the start time in your local time.

In case the links don't take you to the registration page, click the Events button in the left sidebar of the Logseq Discord:

✍️ How to take better notes from courses

How to take Open University Notes with Roam Research
Through Andy Henson's Letters From a Roaman newsletter I stumbled upon the following video by Ian Morgan-Smith. In it, he shows how he takes notes from Open University courses.

If you're already familiar with Roam and take notes from courses, most of the video will be obvious to you. However, the juicy bits are in the last 5 minutes or so, when Ian shows how he turns notes into little algorithms. If you find yourself taking notes from courses but never doing anything with them, this step is the single most powerful thing you can do.

Logseq Student Workflow
Logseq power user Sawhney regularly churns our useful videos to get the most out of the tool and learning materials. In this video he showcases how to take notes, organize those notes through linking, and remember what you learn.

Not a Logseq user? Everything Sawhney shows equally applies to Roam as he leans on links, block references, and spaced repetition for his approach.

📚 How to remember what you read from books

A Simple Guide to Taking Notes While Reading
Alex (from Alex and Books) has written a useful Twitter thread on how to learn from the books you read. While it's easy to highlight passages and take simple notes, that's not enough to make books transformational. For a book to truly change you it's necessary to put the advice to use.

Click here for the in-depth guide or see the tweet below for a quick overview.

Logseq to Anki Sync
Once you have written down a bunch of actionable advice from the books you've read, you'll probably want to actually apply the advice. However, not all advice is immediately applicable so what is a nerd like you to do? Easy: turn your notes into flashcards.

While Logseq has a spaced repetition built-in and Roam has the Roam SR plugin, many of you probably are committed to Anki (like I am). That's why I couldn't be happier when I saw there's a Logseq plugin that syncs flashcards to Anki.

Click here for instructions on how to install and use the plugin.

📥 Frictionless information collection in Logseq

Sync Readwise With Logseq
While the Readwise team is busy building the official Readwise-Logseq integration (ETA in the next month or so), plugin developer Ben has already created an unofficial integration between the two tools.

To download the plugin from the Logseq marketplace, you first need to enable the Developer Mode. To do so, go to ..., click Settings, then go to the Advanced tab. Finally, switch on Developer Mode.

Click here to see all the functionality the plugin offers (apart from syncing your Readwise highlights and notes).

Quick Notes to Logseq Using Telegram
Via Ed Nico I stumbled upon this tutorial by Devon Zuegel on how to string together a bunch of services to quickly feed a Logseq graph using Telegram.

While Logseq now has a mobile app for both Android and iOS, this approach is still useful if you want to quickly jot down notes without thinking too much about formatting. It's especially useful if you want to quickly enter notes to a shared graph and don't want to mess with manually syncing files.

Join the conversation.

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