ben_worthington

Hi everyone,

I like to store quotations from my reading.  I generally read on my Kindle and then copy the quotes into a text file from which I then create, in my current software, a separate note for each quote.  I think The Brain’s wonderful ability to create connections between notes and concepts could really add something to this process and so I have been experimenting with adding the quotes to The Brain, as a kind of commonplace book.  However, I’m running into some problems and I’d be grateful for the advice from more experienced uses:

  • When reading a book I might make many clippings, possibly hundreds per book
  • If I create a Thought that relates to the book (e.g. the book title) and then copy a large number of quotes as individual child Thoughts, they can become almost impossible to read – they are clumped together and truncated, and while hovering over one brings up a label with the quote on it, it is generally illegible because the label sits over all of the other notes
  • I could of course just paste all of the notes into the note field of the Thought where they will be indexed, but that seems to me to lose most of the benefit of The Brain – surely these quotes work better as individual Thoughts which form part of the linking system.

Is anyone else using The Brain to store and track lots of quotes (or similar material) from their reading? Do you have any tips how I might better manage this?

Many thanks.

Ben     

 

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mbaas
Hi Ben,

same scenario, same problem. I played w Outline-View, and it helps to read a bit more on one screen...
Have also tried to add parents, for example, tag-like words as "Love", "Honesty" and would then collect quotes about these. But that just duplicates the problem ;-)

BUT writing and thinking about it...wouldn't it be best in such cases if we could browse all child-thoughts (titles) in the note-field of the parent-thought? Then you could read all text there (and the individual pieces of text might be linked to the notes, so you could still click and navigate in that text)? That "magic note" would not need to be entered manually, but it would be created by a "smart aggregator", a little humble add-on which I could hack together rather quickly (I hope). Thoughts?
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pthompson
Hi Ben,

ben_worthington wrote:
  • If I create a Thought that relates to the book (e.g. the book title) and then copy a large number of quotes as individual child Thoughts, they can become almost impossible to read – they are clumped together and truncated, and while hovering over one brings up a label with the quote on it, it is generally illegible because the label sits over all of the other notes


As you mentioned, it would be better to not use the full quote as the Thought name and instead make a shorter name for the Thought then add the full quote to the Notes area of that Thought.

The way TheBrain is built is to find information fast and visually based on the Thoughts. You may want to maybe make a Thought Type with an icon and a specific color for Thoughts that are quotes and this would make it much easier to distinguish them from other Thoughts. 

If you'd like any help setting up your workflow with your Brain, we are always glad to set up a meeting to do this.

 

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danlandrum
Ben,
I use the TheBrain for tracking quotes, too, but I don't use it for capturing them. Instead, I use nValt to capture them as text files. I title each note appropriately if it is immediately obvious, but don't worry about it too much if I don't know what to name it. Later, usually when I notice the list has gotten too long, I bring them into the brain. I change the titles if I need to during that process. This process is always faster than I expect it to be, and acts as a great review of the material. The note titles become the thought names, and the note body gets indexed. This process of helps to remind me why I saved it in the first place, and generally triggers wet brain suggestions for TheBrain connections. 
OSX 10.13 
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)
3.3 GHz Intel Core i5
32 GB 1867 MHz DDR3
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Shugi
Hi!

ben_worthington wrote:
I generally read on my Kindle and then copy the quotes into a text file from which I then create, in my current software, a separate note for each quote.  


Do you have automated this process somehow? Because I am looking for a way to make it easier to create single notes out of all my higlights
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ben_worthington
Hi Shugi,

See this link for an overview of a viable Kindle workflow especially if you use DevonThink.  If you don't, copy and paste often works fine, but clearly that can be a pain where there are many notes.  [Edit: sorry that is the wrong link, here's the right url: http://www.alexstrick.com/a-different-place/2014/10/note-taking-jujitsu-or-how-i-make-sense-of-what-i-read]

I also use the wonderful https://www.clippings.io/ which makes organising and exporting Kindle notes really easy.  It's an extension for Chrome and is basically the reason I have Chrome on my Mac. If you use Evernote (I do half-heartedly) it will save individual notes to a notebook, but there are all sorts of other export options. 

Ben
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Shugi
Hi Ben!

Thanks for your answer! Helped me a lot, i think i will go with clippings.io -> DevonThink -> The Brain. Seems to work fine for me in first tests [smile]

Thanks,
Andreas
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