Do you document what you learn?

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Re: Do you document what you learn?

Post by Qazwer »

I have trouble maintaining the necessary discipline of writing down what I have learned without outside deadlines - someone needs this output - usually work related. Previously it was school related. I have no problems reading, learning new things. But when it comes down to writing them, my perfectionist streak comes in and I usually throw them away before the iterations needed to make them good. I really wish I could have blogs, articles and books written just to learn as Jacob mentions above. It is a weird pathology. I guess I need the outside structure imposed on me. I truly need to be a salaryman to succeed.

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Re: Do you document what you learn?

Post by IlliniDave »

Not really. I've done some journaling at different times in the past, but usually I don't realize I've learned something until a while after I've learned it and only then because I'm in the middle of relearning it because my need for it changed. When I did do journaling I never went back and read any of it. It's value was in forcing me to organize my thoughts enough to form sentences in the moment.

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Re: Do you document what you learn?

Post by Alphaville »

we all write here when we're trying to work out a problem. the threads themselves are records of what we learn. i often search back to look for something (eg yesterday i was searching "retrosuburbia" to find where it was discussed). this is why it's problematic when people delete their old posts willy-nilly.

at the personal level, i also keep documentation, pdfs, notes, web pages, etc, on evernote. i've organized my archives according to the gtd system and it makes it fairly simple to retrieve something. i've searched for a free alternative to evernote but nothing i like is there yet. (e.g. some people like ms one note, but i hate it; and apple notes are clean and great and included in the price of devices, but lag in capabilities-- they'll eventually get there though.) i'd recommend the gtd book for the filing system even if you don't run gtd as a task management system. at first appears complicated to set up but then it's very clear to use. eta: im overdue a reorganization as this past year i let many things slide.

last: since i switched almost fully to kindle books recently i mark and comment the hell out of them. the notes and highlights are searchable/selectable by filter so i can read my own highlights of the book for example, and i have levels of color-coded highlights (kindle provides 4 colors). same thing with my comments: i can read my own thread of commentary on a text. this in old times used to be done in academia with complicated and time-consuming systems of note cards, which later became electronic databases like... i forget the name (endnote? nota bene? something?). so, for me, who used to tear up books and scribbled on margins, and never had much patience for note cards, ebooks are great (sorry paper). this works also with library books btw--when you re-borrow, your markup is restored.

and oh, i don't like journals. they follow the logic of the "me" and construct an unwanted subject. but logbooks are ok. eg. i keep notes of experiments in development, that sort of thing. eg "increase x 50% next time" or whatever.

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Re: Do you document what you learn?

Post by Lemur »

Nope. I may occasionally document what I learn in my journal but that is more of a dear diary type of log. I try to just build on what I learned previously if what I am learning calls for that (like coding; with practice of intermediate level coding, the beginning level stuff gets reinforced by default). I also have found in my life knowing a lot about many different subjects has allowed me to see synergies ...i.e. I can see a problem from multiple perspectives.

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