Writers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for authors, editors, reviewers, professional writers, and aspiring writers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am a software developer, as I get older, I find myself with the issue of not having as much time to learn as I once did. My learning schedule has gone from 'whenever I have time' to 2 hours or so a week.

I have been looking to document my learning so I can make more efficient use of my time, however, I have ran in to problems when trying to lay out my notes.

I keep finding myself returning to a format similar to what could be considered a tutorial but I worry this may not be the best way to take notes.

I would appreciate any insight people have who document their learning or work on a regular basis. Cheers.


For clarity my question is this:

I have made the assumption that writers are more adept at keeping notes than others. I am asking what particular styles of note keeping do you find works and why. My current style is to write my notes in a format that is similar to how you would write a tutorial on a subject. These style of notes tend to be "addressed" to a "reader" and also tend to be more long winded than I would like.

My notes end up reading as if I wrote them to teach somebody else on a given topic and this does seem natural, yet very inefficient. I was hoping writers, who tend to have to plan stories, plots and characters could give me an insight into how they translate all this information for thought to paper in a structured format.

share|improve this question

closed as not constructive by Neil Fein Jun 17 '12 at 22:36

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I'm not seeing how this question is really answerable in the Stack Exchange sense, it's more of a chatty, forum-style conversation-thread starter. Perhaps ask for the advantages and disadvantages of various note-taking styles? Can you explain more about the format you're gravitating towards? – Neil Fein Jun 17 '12 at 16:26
@NeilFein I have made an edit which hopefully clears up what I am trying to ask – deanvmc Jun 17 '12 at 17:57
I'm sorry, but this question is asking what various people do - questions that encourage multiple answers, all equally valid, don't work on Stack Exchange sites. Am closing this for now, but if you can think of a way to ask a specific, answerable question, would be happy to consider re-opening. – Neil Fein Jun 17 '12 at 22:36
This question on SO stackoverflow.com/questions/477816/the-right-json-content-type invalidates your logic as it asks an open ended question. SE sites are community driven, you see to be the only one who takes issue with the question, and you have now lost a user. Think about the impact your over zealous moderation may have on the community. – deanvmc Jun 18 '12 at 10:28
up vote 1 down vote accepted

"The best way" is whatever works for you. They're your notes. You have to refer to them and learn from them. Take notes in whatever fashion helps you to learn and retain the information.

share|improve this answer
I thought this may be the case, ultimately if it feels comfortable I may as well stick with it. I was hoping others had gone through this and come out the other side with some insight but since the question was closed it is only fair to offer you the tick. Cheers. – deanvmc Jun 18 '12 at 10:30

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.