On Notes

Scott Nesbitt’s latest post got me thinking a little bit and I wanted to expand his point.

I wrote that a good note taking app is one of my key tools. It still is, to the point that my notes are my second brain. I dump everything there, from todo lists and ideas, to meeting notes and everything in between. My notes app is constantly open and one keystroke away from anything I’m doing.

I also believe in simple tools and processes, where each tool is purpose-built and the simplest it can be. Removing the complexity of everything is almost an obsession of mine. Why? Because the world is complex and complicated as is, and we tend to make it more complex and complicated. I rather not add to that. My head hurts just thinking about the amount of stuff we all need to do in our daily lives.

So, back to not having complicated systems for note taking, yes, so much yes. But let me add to that. Since I live in my notes app, I thought I had to build a system that allowed me to over index all, tag everything, and create maps for easy finding of information and database building. I tried things like Obsidian and others similar over the years, but what I found was that the more I was trying to work with the tools, the more I needed to manage the tools, and I found myself reaching out for the tools less and less, and reverting to quickly taking notes on a plain text editor like VIM or TextEdit.

Bad all around for me.

I reverted back to simple. Initially with the MacOS stock Notes app, but then moving to Auer Notes since I was helping test it for a friend. Apple Notes is simple and lets you quickly write notes. Fire and forget like Scott said, but you get little control of where those notes end up. With Auer Notes I found the simplicity and the control I needed. Plaintext notes, saved where I wanted in a fire and forget way. The app lets you then search text at the speed of light, so I can always find what I’m looking for, no need to super organize all, no need to double index, tag, map, remap, and constantly reorganize my system of notes, which is simple: Do you have a thought? Write a note. Do you have notes from some meeting? Write a note. You have a list of things you need to do? Write a note. When you are done using the note either keep it, or delete it.


Simple does it. Simple tools, simple processes, simple approaches, and simple purpose.

By the way, Auer Notes is still in beta but I've chatted with the author and he is finishing version 1 very soon.