Art of learning

The Art of Learning – #2 Podcast of the Week

Welcome to the second blog post of: Podcast of the Week. Thanks for taking an interest! If you have not yet: please check out the first blog post, it’s about how your personality affects your finances: Link to first blog post. This blog post will help you master the art of learning. It will give you some concrete takeaways to put in practice.

The second podcast that I recommend is from The Dough Roller Money Podcast by Rob Berger. This show is about personal finance and financial freedom. I have been listening to this podcast for the past six months. What stands out for me is that Rob doesn’t necessarily focus on simple subjects, but goes in depth. He often refers to research to back-up what he’s saying. This makes his podcast easy to take in, while giving listeners the opportunity to do further reading.

Rob Berger is the founder of a website on personal finance, visited by millions of people. He is also the author of Retire Before Mom and Dad.

The podcast episode

Why do I recommend this podcast episode?

This podcast episode is about learning, by taking notes of knowledge gained. This can be from any source, books, websites and even podcasts. In the episode Rob explains how to use a note making framework, to make complex subjects manageable. This is a recognizable situation for me, especially when reading about investment strategies, asset allocation or listening to podcasts to write blogs about. Of course you can make notes, save them and look them up later on. But finding the right notes can be tricky without a system, it can be hard to remember notes you took one year ago. Furthermore a system can help you find patterns within the notes.

Apply the art of learning

Rob goes on to explain how he is applying a note taking system, a bottom-up approach for taking notes. Extensively described by Niklas Luhmann an 20th century sociologist. The system called “Zettelkasten” which is German for slip box. He used index cards in boxes to organise his notes, containing ideas and short pieces of information. The notes are numbered and include references to other notes. Also having one or more tags, these are used to describe the category the note falls into. In the time that Niklas did his research computers were not as prominent as nowadays, he had a collection of in total 90000 physical index cards for his research.

What are the key takeaways?

1. Master the art of learning by using a framework.

By using a system like Zettelkasten, its easier to contain your knowledge, find it and use it. The direct connections between notes makes managing knowledge easier. In turn this will help you to master the art of learning, by having the information close at hand. You can use your framework to put the information in practice, this will enhance learning.

2. Detect patterns between ideas

Applying the tags following the Zettelkasten method makes it possible to detect patterns between notes. Specifically by applying tags to the notes. It enables you to connect ideas. Another benefit is the structure it creates, your notes won’t become chaotic.

3. You can overcome complex problems.

By making notes with specific information, you can easily create concentrated pieces of information about a problem. The system helps you to organize these pieces. It will help you to step back and look at the problem more broadly. To summarize, the framework will help you create a dynamic system, to organise information in an usable way.

4. Nowadays there is software available to apply the art of learning.

As mentioned in the podcast, Rob uses Devonthink to use the Zettelkasten method. You can also use Evernote or other note taking software. As long as it supports direct referencing and tags. In fact there is more info on the Zettelkasten method at this website, read about my experience with Zettelkasten in Evernote.

How does it relate to Know Act Invest?

This podcast episode is mostly focused on the Know part. How to overcome complexity, manage your knowledge and discover connections between your ideas. This will in turn help you to Act and Invest, by having the right information close at hand to help you make behavioural decisions.

Thanks for taking an interest in this post, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment with feedback. This helps me to continuously improve the website.

Further Reading

Communication with Slip Boxes

More about Zettelkasten

Taking smart notes with DEVONthink