Weeknote 20/28

This week was a back and forth between solitude and (half-)full house. On some days it was just me in the studio (the whole building even, since not all of the tenants returned yet). On others we had a few guests.

On Tuesday, Matze plotted all day long with folks from urbanista. More plotting happened on Friday between Matze, Mathias and me. Everything in early stages. But exciting. After an interim period in 2019, a sabbatical at the beginning of this year and the lockdown that followed, the time is ripe for new beginnings.

When not scheming, soul-searching and contemplating, I spend the rest of the week in Sketch (79%), Zoom (14%), Mattermost (4%) and Abstract (3%). ¹

Also occupying mental capacity this week: note taking. I’m bad at it, but I know that it makes sense. Writing things down – no matter if it’s a todo list, keeping a journal, making literature notes or developing thoughts on paper, helps on so many levels. But I find it difficult to establish habits that stick.

I started a bullet journal two years ago. But I gradually watered it down to a simple daily to-do list, which I sometimes even forget to look at 🤔. I began other forms of journaling, but nothing stuck. Weeknotes are also on and off, but over the years this has probably been the most consistent form of taking notes for me. It works because it’s public. Although nobody cares – or even notices – when I skip a note, I feel more obligation to do it than when I do it just for myself. But the flipside of being public is that it’s a heavily censored version, which is a little frustrating.

But what I really regret is not taking notes on all the books I read. I devoured so many interesting texts over the last years, but it dawns on me that I remember very little. Sure, somehow all the things I read and thought about left traces in my brain. But often it’s just faint remnants of ideas. Nothing I can actively use to develop more ideas, to create new thoughts out of old ones.

So right now I’m trying to establish a habit of taking more notes while reading, and  develop a system of storing those notes in a way that makes them useful. I looked into the Zettelkasten method of German sociologist Niklas Luhmann and while I can see the might and magic of it, I need to find a way to make it work for me. Mission ongoing. End of this note.

  1. No, I don’t use any tracking tools. I just made up those numbers.