1 year later,
I still use the same workflow outlined here, granted now when I take course notes I just use screencaps of my visual studio code editor. Since it also shows the most recent changes I make on every course video.
I’ve tested many ways of taking notes, this is the most seamless and stable way so far for me. I’ve tried other tools since then like inkdrop, vscode/atom extensions, boosted note, onenote, evernote, and notion.so. However, those tend to fall short because they add too many steps to get things done and formatting.
When I take course notes, I have to be able to do it extremely fast, b/c it doesn’t add any direct value in learning. Ideally, I try to watch videos at 2x speed while still typing along, adding external blog links the author mentions along the way. After I finish the video, I make screencaps before I do my git commits. So this way I can see changes to the repo, and changes to files.
Sometimes I’ll annotate these images in https://getsharex.com/ (windows only) , but most times its just a screenclipping (windows and mac both have these). Occasionally I’ll make a gif with shareX, but its very rare and done maybe 5% of every image I make.
Ultimately I want notes to get out of my way so I can focus on development & learning, but I still need some historical record of notes I take along the way. So I can just grok through my entire course notes within 30 seconds or so, and it becomes really easy to remember what parts of the video had some relevant information I should check out
If you get dynalist pro, I suggest using my CSS theme. Its designed to be as undistracting as possible. I made a custom userscript to modify the sizing of images (its that topleft slider) https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/369888-dynalist-image-resizer-v1
. This helps because I know exactly what screenshot I took, but when I review I need to have those images enlarged, as I can’t remember every detail that happened.
This goes into what a userscript is:
Formatting rules for course notes
I currently employ these 5 formatting rules which has served me well over the year.
- Yellow is the course’s top level categories
- Purple is the course’s sublevel categories
- Orange ticks to indicate a console command
- ALLCAPS to describe filenames
Bold if its really important (only use it about 5% of the time)
These notes are from Brad Traversy’s MERN course which is found below. I find this course to be helpful as an intermediate developer. I have no affiliation with any of these tools or courses, but I find udemy to have the best video interface for quickly learning concepts (consequently, some of the best fullstack content as well), compared to lynda.com, youtube, coursera, udacity, etc.
Dynalist doesn’t have a very good mobile app still but it doesn’t really matter, I take these notes on a computer anyhow