Spatial Organization

How to find patterns and insights in your notes

Think about any long-term project you’re working on.

Maybe it’s a book, or maybe it’s a startup idea, or maybe it’s a movie script. You probably spend lots of time thinking about ideas or running into little bits of inspiration. Every time something strikes you as relevant you probably stick it into a page in Roam, or a notebook in Evernote.

After several months of doing this you have a gigantic list of stuff. That’s good in the sense that you have lots of material to work with. But it’s very bad in the sense that none of that material is at all actionable for you — it’s just a long, unordered list.

What you want to do is pull out the hidden connections between the items you’ve collected. You want to find themes, and patterns. You want to coalesce the pieces of inspiration into chapters, or features, or ideas. 

So you need to organize the list! You could try pushing this long list into sub-pages or maybe tag them with themes, but that’s very hard to do. How do you know which tags are the right tags?

It’s easier to talk about if we use an example.

Let’s imagine that we’re starting a restaurant. We’ve been collecting ideas for menu items in Roam, and now we want to build our menu and our restaurant concept based on the dishes we’ve collected. 

The list looks like this:

Learn more

This post is for
paying subscribers

Subscribe →

Or, login.

Read this next:

Superorganizers

Open Thread: How do you manage your inbox?

Open thread time! I’ve been nerding out on Inbox 0 strategies since my Gaurav interview. How do you stay on top (or not) of your inbox? Sys

59 🔒 Sep 1, 2020

Superorganizers

You have to get good before you get better

Two Shorts: Get good then get better, Kevin Yien's OKR template

43 🔒 Apr 17, 2020

Superorganizers

Surgical Reading: How to Read 12 Books at Once

How to efficiently get what you need out of reading, multiple books at a time

51 Jun 23, 2020

Superorganizers

Dopamine Stacking

The hidden wisdom in trying new tools and systems

14 🔒 Sep 25, 2020 by Dan Shipper

Superorganizers

Cognitive Behavioral Productivity

How you can use psychology to get unstuck

8 🔒 Dec 9, 2020 by Jonathan Shi

Thanks for reading Every!

Sign up for our daily email featuring the most interesting thinking (and thinkers) in tech.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Login