Taking notes and organizing them reading scientific papers and so on

clango

Registered
dear ones,

how nice to see so many people who have continued to use the GTD principles for many years!

I have reached the point that I would like to understand how you have structured the collection of notes, of your notes when you read important texts for you because they constitute the library on which we grew up.

In recent years, the types of readings can be the most disparate.

A good article on the Internet, a pdf file, an e-book, a borrowed book, purchased books, participation in an event, a training course.

Has someone structured all the thoughts we develop in an optimal way for him to the point of having pleasure in sharing it?

my best regards

Claudio
 

Oogiem

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My structure is evolving because my source material comprises many different types of inputs and I've only been working on it for a few (relatively) months.

I have web page archives, some plain text, some rich test and some markdown files, PDF files of misc info, PDF files of scientific papers (usually with a DOI number), Kindle books bought from Amazon, Kindle books bought from other sources and Kindle books from free open source places like GutenBooks, paper books, paper handwritten notes on paper or kindle books, digital GoodNotes notes on all source types, kindle highlights, quotes and notes in all ebook types and more. I am slowly evolving a system that has specific workflows for all those inputs into my own personal knowledge management system which I am implementing in Obsidian.

I am developing templates to collect the basic information on the input that is the start of the note. So for example I have Zotero as a bibliographic system which is the repository for all my scientific papers which are nearly all PDF files. I annotate those items on my iPad in Highlights and I use Zotfile and MDNotes to incorporate my own thoughts on the quotes and useful information into a format that can be imported into Obsidian using the Citations plugin. From there I can link and correlate to my hearts content.

For kindle books purchased from Amazon I make my annotations, again on the iPad, in the Kindle app. I am trialing the Readwise Obsidian plugin and the Kindle Highlights Obsidian plugin to get those items into my Obsidian system where I am starting to use the Obsidian plugin Quick Add to transclude the notes into separate files where I can exppound on my own personal thoughts while still keeping the original annotations intact in a single file, one for each book.

For kindle books purchased from other places or open source I am still stuck. There is no good way to get the hihghlights and annotations out of those into any form I can use.

For GoodNotes handwriten notes, which are typically for seminars, webinars, training courses and events I am using a shortcut on my iPad that first does handwriting recog. on my GoodNotes files (for my scribbles it's about 95-98% accurate) then does an export into markdown and automatically saves the resulting file into my Obsidian inbox where I can then edit it to correct the handwriting recog. and add it to my notes.

For paper handwritten notes I am reviewing them. Really important ones I am re-typing into Obsidian. Les important but still ones I want to save are being scanned and stored as attachments in Obsidian.

I am making extensive use of MOC or TOC type notes in Obsidian that are my index to my ever growing pile of stuff and I am making use of the local graph display and find unlinked files plugin to locate orphaned files and decide where I need to connect them.

It's an evolving process and I'm finding the more of my backlog of notes and info I get into my Obsidian system the more useful the entire set of stuff becomes.

PS edited to correct typos because I saved this note into Obsidian as a short for of my workflow and realized I had many spelling and punctuation errors.
 
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Fedja_b

Registered
dear ones,

how nice to see so many people who have continued to use the GTD principles for many years!

I have reached the point that I would like to understand how you have structured the collection of notes, of your notes when you read important texts for you because they constitute the library on which we grew up.

In recent years, the types of readings can be the most disparate.

A good article on the Internet, a pdf file, an e-book, a borrowed book, purchased books, participation in an event, a training course.

Has someone structured all the thoughts we develop in an optimal way for him to the point of having pleasure in sharing it?

my best regards

Claudio

Look into the Zettelkasten note taking method. I call it GTD for ideas.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
I have found that different sources and kinds of reference material are best treated differently. I distinguish between different kinds of reference material:

1. Scientific papers. I have access to new papers daily, as well as various services which try to bring relevant material to my attention. I also attend (virtually now) several talks a week, and access scientific databases. My goal is to reduce the flow of information to a manageable trickle using a series of filtering questions. I store papers that make the final cut in Zotero.

2. Personal reference filing, some of which is project filing. Most of this is now stored in Bear, in markdown. Bear has hashtags, but I wish it had folders too.

3. Email: I keep one big archive for each email account, relying on search, threading and links to find things. The links are handled by Apple and app makers, and provide quick access to email relevant to next actions and projects.

4. Junk drawer information. Sometimes there is an article that I want to save because … I just want to save it. The writing is excellent, the ideas are profound, or the topic is important. GoodLinks is my preferred app right now. Hashtags and search but no folders, like Bear.

5. I have a paper A-Z filing system for non-digital information. There is less and less of it all the time.

I have looked into recent enthusiasm for Zettelkasten systems, and came away with a neutral opinion. Some of the examples of usage I have seen make me think it is a good system for people who make money writing about things they don’t know much about, but are willing to research on the Internet.

I used Evernote for some years, and do not recommend it.
 

Sojourner

Registered
Look into the Zettelkasten note taking method. I call it GTD for ideas.
And if you like the Zettelkasten method, you'll want to investigate the Obsidian application (fully functional free version). Great for organizing and interconnecting your notes in plain text markdown format. It's the ability to interconnect your notes that helps with synthesizing disparate ideas together to discover new ways of understanding the information you've gathered.

Side note: A good book for better understanding the Zettelkasten method and good note taking in general is "How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking - for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers" by Sonke Ahrens.
 
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clango

Registered
Oogiem you are fantastic!
You have shared an information management process, as usual ( I noticed you in the past) which is very inspiring. My requirement at the moment will harness the power of the Google Drive search engine. I am creating files for each author or book or article. I would just like to refine my method of renaming files to characterize them. Then I’ll archive them in my filing archive A-Z. it would be useful if someone liked his way of naming the files. the concept of Knowledge System is also very stimulating and challenging, a more advanced system, as far as I understand it, which could allow the development of concatenations between concepts, independently. Thank you as well to the other contributor!
 
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