For note taking, I optimize for 3 things
- Being able to quickly create a document and worry about categorization later.
- Having access to the notes on any of my 3 machines, and phone
- Being able to find my notes later
To do this, I’ve tried the following. Evernote, Google Docs, Google Keep, One Note. Several drawbacks with all of these systems are:
- Once the number of notes gets very high (~2,000) when trying to find records and grouping them is hard, and I have to learn the way each of the tools group notes.
- If I wanted to add related things to the note (images, presentations), I’m at the mercy of one of these tools (whether they handle it well)
- Finding the records again, it’s a hit or miss with these tools
I was recently inspired by the creator of Wolfram, where he creates all his artifacts right in his Unix file system, and he maintains 3 major versions of how he layout his folder structure as he learns to get better.
So, here is my new method:
- I created a directory structure that matches my life + work. So starts with 3 directories at the high level `Personal,` , `Work` ,`To Organize`
- I have this directory synced via Google Drive
- When I need to take a note, I create a file in VSCode and start taking notes (mostly look like Markdown, but not 100%)
- When I’m done, I’ll do some cleanup and maybe format it in Markdown and put it into a folder under `Personal`, `Work`, `To Organize`, I try to keep the depth of folders to be under 3
- If I have pdf, images presentations, I add them into the folder with the notes. Each note, try to name it `0 README.md` so the file would appear first (edited)
Some other notes
I do not tag, I did that a lot in Evernote, but I find it not very useful 1-2 years later.
Lastly, I don’t know how this will work once I have 2,000 notes. I’m relying on the fact that I can use Unix search as well as VSCode search.
VSCode is optional, any text editor would work fine in this scheme.
I can also rely on Google Drive search if needed.
I’m assuming I can optimize search via many other on disk/folder searching tool