Cover image for How do you make notes?

How do you make notes?

kvanrooyen profile image Keagan Van Rooyen ・1 min read

I recently wrote a post titled "Why I use Markdown to take notes", the tl;dr is: I started using Markdown for meeting notes, and the benefits for me. Now I come to you with the question, how do you take notes?

Let me give you an example: You are working as normal, and then someone says something important to you. This is something you either need to complete or make note of for the future.
How would you take note of that? For me, I have post-it notes, and I will write the note on them. I then stick it on my desk in front of me. I have also tried using a To-Do application, like Microsoft To Do.
I guess I am trying to find a happy medium between the two 🤷‍♂️

Found a typo?

If you've found a typo, a sentence that could be improved or anything else that should be updated on this blog post, you can access it through a git repository and make a pull request. Instead of posting a comment, please go directly to github.com/Kvanrooyen/dev.to and open a new pull request with your changes.

Posted on by:

kvanrooyen profile

Keagan Van Rooyen


Currently learning web development, python and Portuguese 🇧🇷


markdown guide

I use a variety of tools:
・Kanban: used for my office tasks (dev or otherwise)
・OneNote: used as a knowledge base. All information I get from tutorials, books, blog posts, articles, and, my own ideas, go here. It helps to have a 2-in-1 laptop since I can use a digital pen.
・Google Keep: used for quick, one-off notes
・BuJo: for day-to-day personal tasks. Also doubles as a habit tracker


When you say BuJo, do you mean bullet journaling? If yes, I have 2 questions:

  1. How effective is it for you?
  2. Do you write the notes in a physical notebook/paper?


  1. It's very effective. It's easy to see what I need to do for the week.
  2. I'm using a Moleskin Notebook 📘

I'm using org-mode. I use it to take notes, set deadlines, keep todo lists, even managing my kanban board, and syncing with Trello. And with Orgzly I have everything on my phone as well.

I'd say Markdown is a terrible choice. Markdown isn't made to represent a data structure, it is made to format text in certain ways.


Taking notes is important than ever as we are sitting on a pile of information. We need to find a way to organize them and make them useful. Thats why I always felt the urge of taking notes.
I went to asking people about this. Many recommends using the note taking app called Notion.
I liked it; feature-rich and powerful


I've seen a lot of good things said about Notion, I think I will give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion.


I used to use Bear, then switched quickly to Notion but it's too slow to be comfortable.
Then Roam Research hit the scene. So now I'm all in on Graph based notes, and personally use Ting.


Ting looks very interesting. I signed up for the beta, hopefully I can test it out


I use a mix of note intake mechanisms.

I use pen and paper in some contexts like meetings, phone conversations, and lectures where it's quicker to jot down some notes (hybrid of outline/bullet style and Cornell style, which I've recently started trying to adopt more, often with some scribbled diagrams or pictures) and then transfer to electronic format later.

Digital format is in markdown. I use a markdown plugin in my IDE and keep most of those in a git repo (the exceptions being private things that I don't want exposed in a git repo).

Until about a year ago, for some 15 years or so, all of my digital notes were kept in org-mode because I used emacs extensively, but I've really stopped using emacs over the past 12-18 months and markdown is "good enough" (although with just a sliver of the capabilities of org-mode).

For a quick note or URL that I want to share from my work device to my personal device(s) I use Google Keep.


When working I have 2 notebooks. One for "put my thoughts on" and one for near future tasks that come up while working like Refactoring and understanding how something work. The second nootbook helps avoid context switching.
Beside that I use Google keep for small unorginzed thoughts and documents when I have something bigger to document.


If I do have a pen and paper, I prefer to use it to take notes most especially in meetings and pair programming. I also use Google Keep for personal stuff, google docs for easy collaboration with a teammate or simply pin on my sticky notes. I would love to try Stackedit. Thanks for the suggestions.


For my simple daily notes and todos I don't want to have a full fledged app like Notion running. So since I always have a Windows terminal open anyway in addition to VSCode, I use micro. It's minimalistic and easy to use. I also like writing my notes in markdown but don't need them rendered out necessarily and micro has syntax highlighting so my .md notes are easier to read which is great.


I need to take more notes. Mine are in markdown and end up on my website.



Looks good! Before I decide to put notes on my website, I need to finish re-doing it 😂


I use Notion - actually wrote a blog about my set-up here: medium.com/intern-club/my-notion-j...


As I mentioned in another comment, I have seen a lot of good things said about Notion. I will definitely check out your blog. Thanks!


Thanks, I'll have a look at that. I've been using Mark Text for my markdown editing - normally longer notes and drafting emails


Google Keep is pretty nice for sipmle note taking. Otherwise I use stackedit or a local markdown editor


Stackedit looks good! I'll give that a try tomorrow at work and see how it goes. Thanks!


I use google docs usually. Just create a new doc and it's available on all my devices and anywhere basically. Also I can add people if I need to.


I'll have a look into that. That might work well for collaborations at work


I use the app inkdrop to save my notes. It’s a markdown editor with sync and plugins.


I use Markdown too. I keep three files: todo.txt, later.txt and done.txt. I've been trying Zettlekasten recently with pen and paper


Depends on if it's digital or physical.
I prefer pen and paper for school, but digital for review and programming notes.
Digitally, I use Vim and plain markdown in a cloud-synced folder.


I just keep text files (often called "todo.txt") in various directories and edit them with VIM, that's about it. However I saw someone mentioning orgmode.org and that looks quite interesting.


I use cherrytree. Surprised to see no one mentioned it.