published on November 27th, 2019
In my project to learn datascience, I've come to the conclusion that I need a better way to take notes than the notes I have scribbled into my notebook so far.
What I've done so far is to write questions (based on the question book method) about things I see in video lectures and then proceed with an open recall session to recall as much as possible from the lecture. After the open recall I go through the questions written earlier and answer these if I haven't answered them already during open recall.
I've found this process to work really well for optimizing what I retain immediately from a lecture, but currently I'm not producing persistent notes that are well suited for future reference. In addition, I would also like to produce flash cards which I can use to commit (parts of) the material to long term memory - why not include these directly in the notes? Taking notes on a technical subject, I would of course like to include sections with code, mathematical formulas and diagrams. And while we're at it, why not give this system a powerful way to tag concepts, create concept-hierarchies and cross-reference them?
So overall, here is a laundry list of the features which I would like to see in my perfect note-taking application:
There is support for a lot of this out there, but I don't think there is anything that quite meets the bar. A lot of this can be done by combining KaTeX, mermaid and Markdown and there are nice applications which combine these libraries to meet a lot of these features. But I don't think the enable tagging concepts (inline in the text) and enable cross-referencing them. Similarly, I also don't think there is support for building flash cards (I understand that this is a bit of an esoteric requirement).
I'm not sure where I will go with this but its an itch that I would like to scratch. I think the responsible thing is to look for the currently best solution and go with this for the time being. Maybe I'll give Pollen a go and see how that works for my purposes.