Why using 2000-year-old notetaking is a bad idea

Two thousand years ago the technique of notetaking was already established in different civilisations.

For example, the Romans used it. Their children were taught to write letters on wax tablets at school. They were taught to record the information left to right, top to bottom as it was heard. So, when a teacher said something important, they would then use this recording technique to record knowledge so that it could be learnt and used later.

A key feature of this antique notetaking technique is that it is passive. It requires minimum cognitive engagement by the user, who does not have to comprehend the knowledge in order to record it. This passive act also restricts the cognitive capabilities of our brains, which include our ability to listen, concentrate, comprehend, question profoundly, create holistic overviews, spot patterns and links, think critically and analytically, generate new ideas and insights and recall accurately and in detail.

Over the past 2,000 years there have been many developments in the field of managing day to day information and knowledge. These include improvements in the writing instruments we use, the inks, the paper, notepads, the development of electronic devices, keyboards and software.

One notable exception, antique notetaking, the passive act of recording information either verbatim or part verbatim, is the same now as it was 2,000 years ago.

In the 21st century, people are still taught this same technique either for use with a pen and paper or on a digital device such as a laptop. Attached with this technique is a deep-seated behaviour and mindset: you record now and return to and use your notes at a later point in time.

In fact, the future of antique notetaking has been secured for generations to come. It is now deeply embedded in modern technology, for example by Microsoft office. ‘Word’ is the go-to software for ‘taking notes’.

The problem is, today, everything changes rapidly - life, work, information. It is the age of information overload. We need to filter, understand and use information in real-time during meetings, presentations or when learning, with much more dexterity than was ever required in the past.

Last generation notetaking was not designed for the 21st century and does not enable us to do this.

On the other hand, SmartWisdom is specifically designed to manage information in the 21st century and to manage information overload. The primary reason for using SmartWisdom, and your primary focus when writing is not recording but comprehension.

SmartWisdom is transformational for two reasons: it is scientifically proven to:

  1. increase our real-time understanding of new information by an average of 20%

  2. Enable us to access all the information we have captured, real time as we are listening

Combined these two advantages automatically enable us to activate our cognitive skills at a new level, which saves us time and helps us achieve our true potential by gaining a competitive edge