Thoughts about making notes when learning

Being able quickly to learn and apply a new skill is itself a crucial skill for all internet marketers. Knowing how to make, organize and manage effective, referenceable notes is a major part of that skill. In essence, this is about your own personal knowledge management.

Here’s a little video with some of the key points:

 

More specifically, for internet marketers:

  • Most IM training these days comes in the form of videos or webinars. These are often excellent ways to get some initial grasp of the topics, but are the worst possible format for going back and referring to the subject matter when you want to apply it. So it becomes essential to make notes in an accessible format – and I would strongly recommend Evernote Notes.
  • Our learning about a subject is almost never restricted to a single source. Not only are we likely to buy or get access to several courses about any one subject, but we will also find useful information about that subject from other related courses or in forum posts or youtube videos … from lots of places
  • The ideal for a reference source (as opposed to a learning source – although you CAN learn from reference material) is to:
    • Ensure, as best you can, that everything you know about each topic is kept in one place. This requires…
    • An “optimal” collection of topics that covers all the subject matter, structured in an “optimal” way
  • Creating / understanding such a topic structure is itself a major part of understanding the subject itself: often that evolves over time
  • Choosing the right tool to manage all this is very important. Unsurprisingly, I recommend Evernote.
  • I recommend using a structured set of Tags to represent the topic structure. Individual Notes are the lowest level of Topic. I discuss this in detail on this blog post.

An excellent personal example of applying these ideas is my learning about Facebook Advertising. At the time of writing this, I have already gone through some training material and consulted Facebook’s guidance pages. As a result, I have a pretty good collection of topics – at least, I think it’s a good collection at the moment.

I have just bought a new course – Dark Post Profits 2.0 – which, actually, is a collection of several courses covering both the principles of FB advertising AND a number of business models for using it. To fully absorb that material, I need to make notes as I go through it – and now I have a ready-made structure (my Evernote Notes, organized by my Tag structure) into which I can add new learnings and, indeed, compare what different people say about the same topic.

I fully expect that as I do this, I will update and refine my topic structure, although after a time that will happen less and less – and that will indicate I have something close to an “optimal” structure (until Facebook makes some changes!)

Up until Friday 13 March, anyone purchasing Dark Post Profits 2.0 through a link on this page will get, as a bonus from me, access to my personal learning Notes on Facebook. This will be a “live” sharing link via Evernote, and includes all the Tags I apply to the notes.


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