How Will AI Change Note-Taking?

AI will solve the need to organize your notes!!!

But will it really?

Crypto was supposed to solve banking and make it modern. Instead it’s crashed a bunch and rich people got in early then cashed out and got richer.

Ride hailing was supposed to revolutionize personal transportation. Instead they used data to drive down the rates they pay drivers and increased traffic congestion so it’s harder to get places.

Self-driving was promised years ago, and is nowhere close to happening.

Given the poor returns of most “life-changing” technology, I’m skeptical that AI will change the need to organize notes.

Notes are Hard Work

I get why the idea that AI will change your need to organize notes is alluring though. Working your notes and thinking about your notes takes hard work. You have to devote time to the practice. You have to wrestle with your notes and hit dead ends, then you start to find the good stuff.

The big thing that 99% of the people I’ve coached on their note practice are missing, hasn’t been some software tool, or some special trick to organize notes. They never scheduled time to work their notes and then stuck to the schedule.

The research scientists admitted they didn’t do this when pressed. They considered building new knowledge connections a core job function, but then never did it until I forced them to put in on a calendar.

AI seems like it will take away the need to do this work. It will be be like magic, you’ll sit down and suddenly notes and ideas will be put to you from your AI assistant and it suddenly it will become easy to generate thoughts from your notes.

What About Data Privacy

I’m also hesitant to give some tech company my notes as data for it’s AI. Sure they promise that they won’t use your notes, but tech companies are terrible on data privacy. Check out the ChatGPT breach from March 24th, barely a week ago.

Heck US Medical companies do dumb stuff with records that are covered by HIPAA because of a tracking pixel to Facebook. Theoretically medical records are protected by strict laws, yet technology leaks our data all the time.

I have little doubt that feeding my notes into an AI tool is leaking my notes back out of that tool to others when they ask questions that would align with my thoughts. I clearly share much of what I think regularly, but I’m not comfortable with giving my data away for free to AI companies. In fact, it won’t be for free, I’ll be a paying customer for the opportunity to feed their AI engine, thus loosing some value in my thoughts and notes as they are leaked to others.

Yes AI is interesting, but I remain unconvinced by the hype surrounding it. It sounds unbelievable that you’ll be able to let AI organize your notes soon, because it is to good to be true. But you love the idea because it means you won’t have to work hard. You won’t have to sit down and work, AI will magically surface good ideas for you.

Of course once AI does that, you probably still won’t sit down and write about them. So then you’ll need AI to do all the writing for you. Then you’d need to edit, but that’s also hard work so AI editors are needed.

Stop avoiding hard work. Sit down with your notes regularly. Write stuff. There is no magical unicorn dust coming that is going to end the need for you to do some hard work.

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Getting Started with Obsidian Course

Getting Started with Obsidian

If you want to learn your way around Obsidian so that you can build a great note system then this course is for you. I’ll cover basic folder structure when to use tags or links, and the plugins I think everyone needs to make their Obsidian experience excellent. Plus much more. If you want all my courses, become a member.

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Getting Started with Zettelkasten

If you’ve been wondering about what Zettelkasten is and how to start organizing your notes with this excellent system then this course is for you. I’ll cover the basics of choosing which tool to use, how to take notes, how to deal with linking your notes, and much more. You can also become a member to get all my courses.

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