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Contest: My Moleskine 2.0

Contest: My Moleskine 2.0

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    Stepcase Lifehack is partnering up with Moleskine and Hong Kong retailer city’super/LOG-ON to give you a chance to show us – and the world – what you can do with a Moleskine notebook. Moleskines are the notebook of choice for creative professionals around the world, and have become a symbol of latter-day nomadism – nobody carrying a Moleskine is ever without a place to capture their most brilliant thoughts!

    To celebrate the intimate relationship between lifehacking digital nomads and the Moleskine notebook, Moleskine, Stepcase Lifehack, and city’super/LOG-ON invite you to enter the My Moleskine 2.0 competition. My Moleskine 2.0 is devoted to giving tips and tricks to improve your quality of life by automating, increasing productivity and organising.

    Share your ideas, be selected for an innovative exhibition, and win a lifetime supply of Moleskine notebooks!

    We want to see your best ideas for hacking your Moleskine – whether to make the ultimate productivity-enhancing tool or the perfect outlet for all your most creative urges. Show us what you can do and you might win free Moleskines for life.

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    The folks at Moleskine will select the most creative entries, which will be displayed in the My Moleskine 2.0 Exhibition that will take place in all city’super and LOG-ON stores in Hong Kong in July 2009. Your hack will also be presented on moleskine.com, moleskineasia.com, and on Lifehack.

    In-store and web viewers will be able to vote on their favorites, and the winners will receive one of these great prizes:

    • 1st prize: a lifetime supply of Moleskine notebooks!
    • 2nd prize: collection of 25 Moleskine notebooks and diaries
    • 3rd prize: collection of 15 Moleskine notebooks and diaries
    • All other exhibited entries: set of 3 Moleskine notebooks

    Send us your idea on how to make and do things better, faster, more creative and innovative, for both work and leisure with your Moleskine notebook!

    How to participate

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    This competition is open to all regardless of age, nationality, sex and location. There is no application fee. Selected entrants will have to purchase the Moleskine and prepare the hack for the exhibition, but will receive 3 Moleskine notebooks as a prize once their finished work is received.

    Application Procedure

    Submit your best idea using the application form at the bottom of this post. You may be contacted for further information after the first round of judging. Entries must be received before May 31st, 2009. Make sure you present your idea clearly. Your idea should fall within one of the following category:

    • Creativity and imagination
    • Organization and productivity
    • Archive and memory
    • Fun and innovative hacks

    The competition is in different stages:

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    1. Applications are due  May 31st, 2009.
    2. By early June, 2009, selected entries will be announced.
    3. Selected participants will have to purchase a Moleskine and prepare the hack following the submitted idea. (Entries will be selected by Moleskine; all decisions are final.)
    4. By June 30th, 2009: the hacked Moleskine must be sent to Moleskine Asia at the address provided.
    5. Submitted Moleskines will be displayed at the My Moleskine 2.0 Exhibition in July and a winner selected at the end of the Exhibition.

    Selection Criteria

    The best entries will be selected according to their originality, creativity, usefulness, feasibility and design.

    My Moleskine 2.0 Exhibition

    If you’re in Hong Kong in July, be sure to stop by city’super or LOG-ON to see the exhibition!

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    Date: July 15th – 30th, 2009

    Venue: city’super, LOG-ON, Hong Kong

    The selected Moleskine will be displayed in transparent boxes, so that audience can peruse them at their own pace. Ideas and “how to” will be displayed as well on panels. city’super and LOG-ON customers will be invited to vote and select their favorite Moleskine hacks.


    “Lifetime supply” is limited to 5 notebooks per year over a period of 50 years.

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2019

    How to Take Notes Effectively: Powerful Note-Taking Techniques

    How to Take Notes Effectively: Powerful Note-Taking Techniques

    Note-taking is one of those skills that rarely gets taught. Almost everyone assumes either that taking good notes comes naturally or, that someone else must have already taught about how to take notes. Then, we sit around and complain that our colleagues don’t know how to take notes.

    I figure it’s about time to do something about that. Whether you’re a student or a mid-level professional, the ability to take effective, meaningful notes is a crucial skill. Not only do good notes help us recall facts and ideas we may have forgotten, the act of writing things down helps many of us to remember them better in the first place.

    One of the reasons people have trouble taking effective notes is that they’re not really sure what notes are for. I think a lot of people, students and professionals alike, attempt to capture a complete record of a lecture, book, or meeting in their notes — to create, in effect, minutes. This is a recipe for failure.

    Trying to get every last fact and figure down like that leaves no room for thinking about what you’re writing and how it fits together. If you have a personal assistant, by all means, ask him or her to write minutes; if you’re on your own, though, your notes have a different purpose to fulfill.

    The purpose of note-taking is simple: to help you work better and more quickly. This means your notes don’t have to contain everything, they have to contain the most important things.

    And if you’re focused on capturing everything, you won’t have the spare mental “cycles” to recognize what’s truly important. Which means that later, when you’re studying for a big test or preparing a term paper, you’ll have to wade through all that extra garbage to uncover the few nuggets of important information?

    What to Write Down

    Your focus while taking notes should be two-fold. First, what’s new to you? There’s no point in writing down facts you already know. If you already know the Declaration of Independence was written and signed in 1776, there’s no reason to write that down. Anything you know you know, you can leave out of your notes.

    Second, what’s relevant? What information is most likely to be of use later, whether on a test, in an essay, or in completing a project? Focus on points that directly relate to or illustrate your reading (which means you’ll have to have actually done the reading…). The kinds of information to pay special attention to are:

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    Dates of Events

    Dates allow you to create a chronology, putting things in order according to when they happened, and understand the context of an event.

    For instance, knowing Isaac Newton was born in 1643 allows you to situate his work in relation to that of other physicists who came before and after him, as well as in relation to other trends of the 17th century.

    Names of People

    Being able to associate names with key ideas also helps remember ideas better and, when names come up again, to recognize ties between different ideas whether proposed by the same individuals or by people related in some way.

    Theories or Frameworks

    Any statement of a theory or frameworks should be recorded — they are the main points most of the time.

    Definitions

    Like theories, these are the main points and, unless you are positive you already know the definition of a term, should be written down.

    Keep in mind that many fields use everyday words in ways that are unfamiliar to us.

    Arguments and Debates

    Any list of pros and cons, any critique of a key idea, both sides of any debate or your reading should be recorded.

    This is the stuff that advancement in every discipline emerges from, and will help you understand both how ideas have changed (and why) but also the process of thought and development of the matter of subject.

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    Images

    Whenever an image is used to illustrate a point, a few words are in order to record the experience.

    Obviously it’s overkill to describe every tiny detail, but a short description of a painting or a short statement about what the class, session or meeting did should be enough to remind you and help reconstruct the experience.

    Other Stuff

    Just about anything a professor writes on a board should probably be written down, unless it’s either self-evident or something you already know. Titles of books, movies, TV series, and other media are usually useful, though they may be irrelevant to the topic at hand.

    I usually put this sort of stuff in the margin to look up later (it’s often useful for research papers, for example). Pay attention to other’s comments, too — try to capture at least the gist of comments that add to your understanding.

    Your Own Questions

    Make sure to record your own questions about the material as they occur to you. This will help you remember to ask the professor or look something up later, as well as prompt you to think through the gaps in your understanding.

    3 Powerful Note-Taking Techniques

    You don’t have to be super-fancy in your note-taking to be effective, but there are a few techniques that seem to work best for most people.

    1. Outlining

    Whether you use Roman numerals or bullet points, outlining is an effective way to capture the hierarchical relationships between ideas and data. For example, in a history class, you might write the name of an important leader, and under it the key events that he or she was involved in. Under each of them, a short description. And so on.

    Outlining is a great way to take notes from books, because the author has usually organized the material in a fairly effective way, and you can go from start to end of a chapter and simply reproduce that structure in your notes.

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    For lectures, however, outlining has limitations. The relationship between ideas isn’t always hierarchical, and the instructor might jump around a lot. A point later in the lecture might relate better to information earlier in the lecture, leaving you to either flip back and forth to find where the information goes best (and hope there’s still room to write it in), or risk losing the relationship between what the professor just said and what she said before.

    2. Mind-Mapping

    For lectures, a mind-map might be a more appropriate way of keeping track of the relationships between ideas. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of mind-mapping, but it might just fit the bill.

    Here’s the idea:

    In the center of a blank sheet of paper, you write the lecture’s main topic. As new sub-topics are introduced (the kind of thing you’d create a new heading for in an outline), you draw a branch outward from the center and write the sub-topic along the branch. Then each point under that heading gets its own, smaller branch off the main one. When another new sub-topic is mentioned, you draw a new main branch from the center. And so on.

    The thing is, if a point should go under the first heading but you’re on the fourth heading, you can easily just draw it in on the first branch. Likewise, if a point connects to two different ideas, you can connect it to two different branches.

    If you want to neaten things up later, you can re-draw the map or type it up using a program like FreeMind, a free mind-mapping program (some wikis even have plug-ins for FreeMind mind-maps, in case you’re using a wiki to keep track of your notes).

    You can learn more about mind-mapping here: How to Mind Map: Visualize Your Cluttered Thoughts in 3 Simple Steps

    3. The Cornell System

    The Cornell System is a simple but powerful system for increasing your recall and the usefulness of your notes.

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    About a quarter of the way from the bottom of a sheet of paper, draw a line across the width of the page. Draw another line from that line to the top, about 2 inches (5 cm) from the right-hand edge of the sheet.

    You’ve divided your page into three sections. In the largest section, you take notes normally — you can outline or mind-map or whatever. After the lecture, write a series of “cues” into the skinny column on the right, questions about the material you’ve just taken notes on. This will help you process the information from the lecture or reading, as well as providing a handy study tool when exams come along: simply cover the main section and try to answer the questions.

    In the bottom section, you write a short, 2-3 line summary in your own words of the material you’ve covered. Again, this helps you process the information by forcing you to use it in a new way; it also provides a useful reference when you’re trying to find something in your notes later.

    You can download instructions and templates from American Digest, though the beauty of the system is you can dash off a template “on the fly”.

    The Bottom Line

    I’m sure I’m only scratching the surface of the variety of techniques and strategies people have come up with to take good notes. Some people use highlighters or colored pens; others a baroque system of post-it notes.

    I’ve tried to keep it simple and general, but the bottom line is that your system has to reflect the way you think. The problem is, most haven’t given much thought to the way they think, leaving them scattered and at loose ends — and their notes reflect this.

    More About Note-Taking

    Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via unsplash.com

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