Takes Notes on Everything

Max Antonucci on October 31, 2017

A new favorite book of mine is "You Are Not So Smart" by David McRaney. It lists dozens of common cognitive mistakes humans make constantly, rangin... [Read Full]
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Totally agree. Do the same. Very helpful and saves A LOT of time in the end! Thanks for sharing (and confirming!) Max!


Happy to do so, Thanks for sharing and confirming with me as well!


If not for others to read, than for yourself to improve your knowledge and craft that much more.

This is exactly why I keep a blog and keep posting there. It is not really for others; I blog what I learn there so I can reference it back.

One type of app that I use often is notes. I used nvAlt for long, now I use iAWriter on Mac and iOS. It is filled with so many TILs (today-i-learned) and other similar notes.

Similar to what you describe in this post, I keep a note of all errors I get while developing. You will be amazed how often you search for the same errors. Keeping a log of the errors and how you solved it will save so much of time. I blogged about it here: jjude.com/flask-errors/

Taking notes also makes you conduct a thoughtful retro of what you have done. It helps you to improve.


Agreed - half the time the errors I'm searching for have purple links in Google, so I know I've found/fixed the problem before....

Maybe actively writing down the issue and my solution would make me better retain it.


Very good point about keeping track of errors made as well. I have often written down new things I've learned in the process related to them, like a new git command related to a rebase error. But documenting the specific nature of the error does make it much less likely I'd make it again too.


I love the idea of logging all errors. Totally going to start doing this. Thanks!


GitBook may help you keep things more organized while at the same time keeping everything in a GitHub repo.


Alternatively a static site generator gives you a lot of freedom on how to organize content. You can still keep it all on GitHub.
Jekyll is super simple to get started since support is built into GitHub.
My personal favorite is Hugo for the simplicity, features and speed it provides.


Why GitBook needs access to my orgs ? Pff... Looks promising but I can't use it with GitHub... Thanks for sharing.


Thanks for the suggestion! I'll definitely look into this, will also make it even easier to read and review.


Great stuff! I've been keeping book notes in a personal wiki for years, and I can attest that it helped me better remember what I learned, and having something to refer back to has been invaluable.

More recently (Last 4-5 years), I've started dumping hard-to-remember bits of code/commands/configs into a snippet manager like TextExpander or Alfred. (I'm told Dash is also good for this, but haven't tried it.)


I totally agree with you.

For me, OneNote is utilized pretty well by me to write notes about almost everything happening in my daily routines, ranging from work to life. I started the habit of taking notes when I was still in university.

I also encourage my colleague and all the people that I've mentored so far to make a habit of taking notes and feeling really happy when they find it useful.

Thanks for the great post!


I totally agree with you about the feeling of taking notes on paper! I feel like it's easier to remember things and also easier to be creative and actually keep writing.
One thing that helps to focus on writing instead of refining your notes is that you can not undo what you wrote down. Some editors have this as a feature under the name Hemingway Mode.
I wrote more about my thoughts on this in the past: dev.to/jorinvo/note-taking
For me paper is a great medium for thinking, but digital is a good addition for refining, sharing and archiving notes and writings.


Totally agreed, In 2019 I read 30+ books but I can only remember a few of them, 2020 my resolution was to read books and assimilate them by publishing summaries. Here is one, dev.to/bhavaniravi/atomic-habits-b...


I agree 100%! I've been wondering if perhaps taking the time to write down my understanding/explanation for why a piece of code works was wasted when comparing it to the time I could spend coding. However, it's how I learn :)


Hey Max ! Thanks for writing such a great article. It immediately prompted me to start my own repository for keeping a note of stuffs I have learnt.
Since a long time I am having a tough time organising stuff that I've learnt/read.

I even plan to create a web-application that helps me write stuff and organise it based on tags and locations. I am still working on ideas to expand this application's utility though. I intend to apply some analytical utility to it so that the user can have an idea on what topics did he 'logged' the most during the last month. (May be generate a word-cloud of most terms logged in the user's notes)

Would love to hear your views on the same.


I do the same thing! Partly since I don't always have my computer around when I need to note nothing, and partly I just like to write a stream of consciousness for a kind of mental release.


You might enjoy this program buildingasecondbrain.com. If you look into it, tell Tiago that Chris G sent you.


Thank you very much for the offer, but I may just opt to keep it simpler with my Github repo. My own preference is the simpler way I record info, the more I focus on its quality.


Great article! thanks for sharing!


Love it! Started a new repo for 'my second brain'.


Haha, that's a much catchier way of referring to it than I could've thought of.


It made me happy that you used "Accessibility for Everyone" as an example :)


It is a really good book I agree! Laura Kalbag is a really inspirational figure in web development for me.


Thank you for the pointer to the book. It is great indeed. :)


Great Article Max!. I do that at work, except that I'm keeping my notes in a private repo for the time. I do have plans to separate my personal & work notes so that I can publish my public notes.


If you like to retrieve your notes by any word in them, or context (where or when you wrote them), try my web app Serene Notes:



Thanks for sharing! Helps me a lot for the future use


I like to believe the notes are a form to travel in time. And often I catch myself grateful for me in the past, to give me note as a gift, a clear and useful note.


Agree.. I kept a single file named ‘learnt.md’ and update it as needed.
Once in a while tidying it.. fix the syntax, links, comments etc. File kept in a git repo & Dropbox for easy access..

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