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A Comedy Self-help Podcast to Make Life Suck Less!

Do you want to take smarter notes?

Jul 17, 2020

This week, we're bringing you a surprisingly powerful book:

How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers by Sönke Ahrens.

Thanks to Longtime Loyal Listener Jonneke for the recommendation!

Don't skip this episode -- notes are the foundation for all of the thinking, writing, and insights we do!

Did you know that there is a better way to take notes? This book outlines a method called a "slip-box" and if you have to do any non-fiction writing, essays, white papers or are asked to come up with new ideas at work, then this how to take smart notes book review is for you!

Dr. Sönke Ahrens is a writer and researcher in the field of education and social science, and author of the award-winning book Experiment and Exploration: Forms of World-Disclosure: From Epistemology to Bildung. He has worked at different universities, most recently as an interim professor for philosophy of education at the University for the German Federal Armed Forces in Munich.

In this How to Take Smart Notes book review, we cover all three parts of the book from the following chapters:


  • Everything You Need to Know
  • Everything You Need to Do
  • Everything You Need to Have
  • A Few Things to Keep in Mind

The Four Underlying Principles

  • Writing Is the Only Thing That Matters
  • Simplicity Is Paramount
  • Nobody Ever Starts From Scratch
  • Let the Work Carry You Forward

The Six Steps to Successful Writing

  • Separate and Interlocking Tasks
  • Read for Understanding
  • Take Smart Notes
  • Develop Ideas
  • Share Your Insight
  • Make It a Habit

Were you as confused as Misty during this episode? Are you interested in seeing how a slip-box looks visually? Try this quick YouTube video! If you’d like to see how someone uses current software for their slip-box needs, check out this video.

If you’d like to learn more about the author and see the slip-box tools available, you can do so at his website here.

And don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review Go Help Yourself

May your smart note-taking be ABUNDANT!

Misty & Lisa