What if Your Mind’s Web Was a Website?

Aswin John
3 min readDec 3, 2020


This article was first published in the Learn Then Apply newsletter.

The Challenge

This week I was struggling with the roadmap for Learn Then Apply.

The mission is “Turning Consumption into Creation”. I wanted to compile resources that I’ve found, and then reference back whenever I used them in my life or in a project.

But I didn’t know how to package all that together in a way that would be useful to others.


📝 How to Take Smart Notes

I stumbled on this summary of the book, How To Take Smart Notes, while reading Tiago Forte’s guide on how to summarize books.

It tells the story of Niklas Luhmann and how he took notes.

As time went on, he was able to find the gaps in his knowledge and contextualize new thoughts into his existing mental framework.


This gave me a clear vision of how I could structure Learn Then Apply. I want to create a library of micro-learnings that are then referenced back to through live case studies that show when and how they were used.

In the article, Tiago references three types of notes: fleeting notes (the basic seed of a thought), literature notes (providing a bit more detail to the thought), and permanent notes (categorizing and adding it to the mind index).

I added this widget on my home screen so I can write down random thoughts I might have during the day:

Then I set a daily alarm at 9:30 PM to remind myself to dump these notes into Roam Research (a note-taking app) where I’ll give it some more context and categorize/file it away.

If you were wondering... In is for tasks or appointments based on the book GTD. Thoughts are for ideas. They could probably be in the same note since I’m dumping it all out at the end of the day, but trying this for now 🤷🏾‍♂️.

In Roam I created this database of ideas so I can start making subcategories:

I think this is a good baseline for capturing ideas.

As long as I’m consistent, I can use these ideas to build the articles that will live on learnthenapply.com.



Aswin John

A young professional taking action on the content he reads and documenting it on learnthroughaction.com (+ tweeting bad jokes at twitter.com/learnthroughaction)