The goal of Dan’s book is to teach you to take good notes and turn them into good writing[1] in the academic/school world. Dan says that if you have an assignment you should always be able to find something interesting in it and turn that interesting bit into something you can write well about[2]. I’d back that up but get stronger with the statement, if you can’t find something interesting you’re being lazy.

Dan encourages us to have a regular practice to review our notes and make further connections with them[3], which is where I feel most people fall down in their practice. It’s always easier to take notes than it is to think hard about the notes you currently have and how they can connect to form new ideas.

There is a long chunk of this book that I skipped as it was all geared towards writing a good academic paper, which I don’t do.

If you’re a student looking to learn and succeed at your writing in school, i think this is a good book. If you’re not in an academic setting, there are some tidbits that are helpful, but I’d stick with How to Take Smart Notes.

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