The -2 and +2 of effective note-making

Making notes is a personal affair.

That’s why it can be hard to imagine who you are writing for. Here is a suggestion, inspired by Sören Kierkegaard’s view:

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

Write for who you were; publish for who you’ll become.

Write to explain to your past self

Imagine yourself two years ago. Remember how little you knew about the topic you are thinking about now? You still had the curiosity of a beginner. Channel the excitement of discovery into your explanations, into your notes. Make notes to let your past self understand.

Write with an audience in mind.

But also write to publish.

Edit before you do.

Edit to catch the attention of your future self

Edit your text with the future in mind. Increase the chances to catch the attention of the person you’ll be in 2 years. You will have most likely forgotten your note when you stumble across it. So make sure that the idea can intrigue you once more. Edit to let it speak for itself.

Your past self listens patiently.

Your present self finds the right words.

Your future self will thank you for your efforts.

This post was created with Typeshare

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Exploring higher education futures | Coaching instructors to teach with more impact | Head of D-MTEC Teaching Innovations Lab at ETH Zurich

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Erik Jentges

Erik Jentges

Exploring higher education futures | Coaching instructors to teach with more impact | Head of D-MTEC Teaching Innovations Lab at ETH Zurich

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