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Why Is Adding to Favorites Useless?
We are easy to fall into the trap of Favorite Paradox——Feeling that adding to favorites means learning. But actually learning something is not the same as knowing something. Adding to favorites is similar to transferring the information (rather than processing it). You don’t add anything new to it.
You don’t have to capture 100% information. Our brains are like filters. Your subconsciousness is defaulted to filter all the “useless” information. You need to constantly change the filter so as to input the information into your brain.
The information is collected by your senses. It is not the essence of everything in the world, but the part of our perception to those things. So while absorbing information, recording is also a process of explaining, which can write the message into your brain.

Why are we fond of hoarding information?

A few reasons why we become the digital hamster:
  • It is an emotional compensation. Hoarding information can compensate the past self, while to-do can build a better self.
  • It is functional support; it is actually piling up the digital materials.
    • If classified according to the time, these digital materials can be divided into the collection of existing concrete memories (such as photos, files, and recordings), and the collection of unhappened abstract plans (such as to-do lists, wish lists, etc.).
  • The media has changed;
    • While uploading the content that needs to be remembered and preserved, “the function of media is changing from the information producing center to the information memorizing center”.
    • The platform is luring you to become a digital hamster through improving the storage and way of spreading memory.
And these are the pros and cons of becoming a digital hamster:
  • The environment is pushing you to memorize and express.
  • Obsession with collecting may make us focus on the expression rather than the present moment.
  • It is easier to forget because the information can be retrieved anytime via the devices.

Are you recording information or knowledge?

How to differentiate these two? Well, information can often be summarized with one sentence. And information is “dead” or fixed. For example, “I talked with Alex” is a lifeless fact.
You should process the information and gain a few ideas. If you add any related content in your notes and connect the dots in them, this may generate great value even if you are not using the knowledge you created.

Feel troubled? But it is the desirable difficulty.

Recording in your own words can help you in memory. This conclusion is from the cognitive psychologists Mr. and Mrs. Bjork. About thirty years ago, they put down the theory of desirable difficulty.
They first differentiate two types of memory competition: storage strength and retrieval strength. People used to believe that the faster a person remembers the better he studies. In short, the easier to store the faster to retrieve. But their experiment showed a different conclusion, which is that storage has a negative relation with retrieval. It means that the easier to store the harder to retrieve. Instead, if you feel hard to remember something, it will be more convenient for you to retrieve knowledge.
Just as that proverb: The palest ink is better than the best memory.

Only record that most touching information.

According to How to Effectively Organize Information, the most important material to record is not the “materials for producing knowledge” but “something really touched you” (what a perspective!). The former may make trash of favorite materials. But the latter may become the important message that constantly inspires you.
Similar ideas are mentioned in Why Students Don’t Like School.
The information that really touches you can be easier to remember. So instead of recording answers, it will be more effective to record questions. Because questions mean conflicts. Conflicts bring emotional fluctuation, which pushes you to move forward.
For example, we mentioned three types of materials worthy to be recorded in Why We Should Use Cards for Note-taking, that is, “counter common sense”, “names”, and “terms”. “Counter common sense” is used to expand your cognitive boundaries. “Names” is used to memorize the creator of knowledge. “Terms” are used to memorize the source of knowledge.

Record your own voice.

The core of recording is to record your own voice. Because nobody can tell you your ideas. Only those materials that touched you can become the heart of knowledge production.
Taking notes is paying tribute to your own thoughts. Thinking is similar to taking pictures. Quantity brings quality. If you don’t keep practicing, you can hardly output anything valuable.
We are easy to fall into the trap of Favorite Paradox——Feeling that adding to favorites means learning. But actually learning something is not the same as knowing something. Adding to favorites is similar to transferring the information (rather than processing it). You don’t add anything new to it.
You don’t have to capture 100% information. Our brains are like filters. Your subconsciousness is defaulted to filter all the “useless” information. You need to constantly change the filter so as to input the information into your brain.
The information is collected by your senses. It is not the essence of everything in the world, but the part of our perception to those things. So while absorbing information, recording is also a process of explaining, which can write the message into your brain.

Change your way of collecting.

The best way to use flomo is not to throw a link in it or collect the entire article. You can mark the content your need first and then summarize it. Or after reading, you can re-write your understanding on flomo.
Be honest with yourself and pay efforts.
Taking notes in this way may not be easy, but don’t forget that the knowledge has a strong compounding effect. Those who seriously take notes will be distinguished from those who don’t.
Tiago Forte (we may mention him several times) is a famous master of knowledge management. He mentioned seven principles of gaining knowledge, which may be relevant to this article. Let me share with you
  1. 1.
    Interaction over consumption: put your time and efforts into note-taking rather than simply collecting.
  2. 2.
    Balancing details and discoverability: don’t be too detailed or too simple.
  3. 3.
    Choose to compress knowledge: take notes about those that really matter to you.
  4. 4.
    Instinct over analysis: we don’t have a refined thinking pattern.
  5. 5.
    Focus on the most valuable information: it doesn’t matter if you only remember one sentence in a book.
  6. 6.
    Tacit knowledge over explicit knowledge: your special opinions can never be taken.
  7. 7.
    Focus on questions rather than answers: the quality of a question is the foundation of a solution.