Of analog “anti-nets” and slip-boxes

Came across this series of “emails” or “letters” about someone embarking on an analog thinking system.

An Antinet is for those who wish to read more effectively, take valuable notes from readings, and transform them into potent long-term material that significantly impacts your field.

Noble goal, one I would’ve mirrored in zealotry few years ago. Now though, I’m apt to wish them well. “How to Take Smart Notes” by Sönke Ahrens has become the over-recommended guide in these quarters, and “Zettelkasten” the correspondingly over-used word.

The author’s description of over-doing reliance on an app must ring true to many today:

I had set out to use Obsidian to map out all the concepts from the books I was reading. My goal was to organize them into a cohesive whole that would become greater than the sum of its parts. I hoped to use the concepts to produce a book or a newsletter on marketing, copywriting, and cryptocurrency. Yet I ended up with a rat’s nest of 1,272 linked files, and a nifty diagram presenting me with a bubble graph of the mess!

Still, there’s something to like about it. One should write things down.

I’d recommend adopting the general idea, but change it slightly, and advocate a hybrid approach instead.

Avoiding technology for the sake of avoiding it is just as pointless, IMO. Yes, use pen and paper —because your ability to use it would atrophy otherwise — but don’t shy away from the “right tools for you”.

If you’re looking for a piece of software that will prove a good companion here, I’d modify the suggestion slightly, to Devonthink instead of Zotero. It does everything and more, allowing for multiple individual stores, and an iOS app.

Either way, writing and thinking is definitely a good alternative to passively scrolling the feed … avoid that at all costs! 🙂

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