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Simple Note Taking Method (Analog w/ Digital Alternative)

Todd Brown using Ryan Holiday's Note Taking Method

Yesterday I read a brilliant article that I want to share with ya.

Now that we’re all hard-wired with gigabit connections into the “Matrix”, one of the big challenges we all face is how to assimilate all this information that’s washing over us daily.

Courses, books, articles, social, spam (hey, some people enjoy the ads), and offline chinwags with friends…

There’s more than 5 billion people who are calling, texting, tweeting and browsing on mobile phones worldwide right now.

YouTube users upload 48 hours of new video EVERY MINUTE of the day. And there’s 571 new websites created EVERY MINUTE.

Data is growing faster than ever before, and by the year 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet.

Think about that. (Insert “dear in the headlights” look of bewilderment.) lol

So how do we store (and more importantly, be able to retrieve when needed) the jet-stream of good useful stuff that matters to us?

I’ve lost count of all the times that I’ve tried to find something (snippet of info) that I KNOW I’ve “stored for later” …

… but can’t find the damn thing anywhere (it’s there, stored, but I just can’t find it within the “data noise”).

Last year I purchased 163 Kindle books (yeah yeah yeah, I’ve not read ’em all yet).

This year I’m only at 112 (so far).

And that’s just the books.

This challenge is only getting worse for us all.


Ryan Holiday wrote a piece on Medium about how he stores information, ideas, and stuff he reads.

I found it very valuable.

Perhaps you will, too.

There’s nothing to buy.

It’s just an article written by a guy who I don’t know personally, but whose books I really LOVE reading:


(Btw, there is a link in the comments that points to a longer piece that goes deeper into how Ryan organizes information.)

That’s it.

Have a killer Friday!



It’s worth mentioning that Ryan’s note taking method is all pen-and-paper. No doubt he prefers the tactile nature of scrawling on paper.

Personally, this doesn’t work (for me).

I use a digital tool called Gingko.

I’ve mentioned it in the past if you’ve been reading my stuff for a while.

The tool is free (although there is a paid version):


It’s basically a digital tool for creating and linking together “cards” of information. It’s amazing once you use it for a while.

I also use Gingko for journaling.

Anyhoo, that’s what I use (paired with a version of Ryan’s method detailed in the cited article link above).

Hope this was helpful.


The irony, I know.

I’ve just given you MORE information.

If it’s of little value for you then it’s easy. Ignore it. Done.

But if this method (or idea) is useful for you, now what? Where are you going to store this so you can action it later? Haha! đŸ™‚