On overthinking note-taking

On overthinking note-taking

10-02-21 ~~~

It's been nearly five months since I started trying to "learn more Linux" a la traditional method of note-taking. A course such as the Linux Upskill Challenge is very interesting to me, yet it's five months later and I still haven't made it a week in. Why?

I love organization and notetaking but there's a time and place for it. I haven't gotten it through to myself yet that not every single learning experience I complete needs to be documented. I started my "learning" this year with the broken mindset that "in order to understand and retain all of this Linux knowledge, I have to take notes". Of course, note-taking helps when interest is lacking or subjects become complex, but it's not my most effective means of learning when I'm motivated by the topic at hand.

My interests in and passion for computers are what drive me to experiment and learn through experience. If I took notes for every technology-related concept I've sought out to learn, I would still be stuck attempting to "master" the basics. Instead of progressing, I would find myself in a loop, so hyperfocused on every little detail that I don't see the big picture. That's where I find myself at now with every attempt at "formal learning" I have made this year, whereas all of my hobby projects (keyboards, this website, etc) have taken off. Perhaps it's time to retire my perspective about so-called "formal learning" and treat every learning experience as fun. It's what has been working for me after all.

I reflect on this matter now as I begin to start working towards IT certifications. I will continue my learning devoid of any irrational fears of forgetfulness or misunderstanding, and if note-taking proves benefical, I will eagerly take them. However, I will not focus so much on writing that it detracts from my learning and wastes my time.

Keeping it simple keeps it easy and fun.

-medwa