Duly Noted

Having a lightbulb in the middle of transport, thinking of a poem during a lecture or scribbling down a grocery list at the end of a workday, we are constantly noting things down, taking in information and data. It’s a common practice in life and one taken very seriously at Kaospilots.

We’re lucky to be taught visual literacy early on in our education, by graphic masterminds such as Abdul Dube, and get multiple chances to practice graphic facilitation, communication and design skills. Whether striving to be refined artists or simply wanting to remember something, we usually have our heads dug deep in a notebook or a wrinkled post-it. And because of our intense admiration of Muji pens (the 0.38) and loving relationship with Neuland markers, one can be sure we do not miss a thought during our studies.

I’ve collected some notes from different lectures by current students of all teams and asked into their note-taking essentials. Enjoy the satisfaction of aesthetically pleasing notes or find comfort in knowing not everyone’s found their inner note-taking artist, yet.

Noora Sirén

Where are these notes from?
All the notes are from my school notebook, which has been the same for two and a half years. They’re a combination of information/knowledge and trying to make things lighter and visually appealing. I learned early on at KP that I’m a visual learner—aesthetics and minimum text is ideal for me. The better I feel and the more I’m learning, the more images i usually draw.

What was moving inside you when they were created?
I often feel the fleeting fear of losing information. I love documenting as much as possible and try to return to the notes. 50% of the times I’ve forgotten the points entirely. Lately I’ve come to appreciate note-taking more as a processing tool, not a final result. It’s useful for me to understand the topic in the moment, and to adapt it to my knowledge base. It’s not so serious if I don’t understand notes from 2016 perfectly anymore.

What are your note-taking essentials?
My note-taking essentials are good pens and good paper. Good paper is a bit thicker, preferably not white, and not very pore-y—this way the pens stick well and don’t spread. Right now I’m using Neuland No. Ones for color accents, and Muji 0.38 pens for writing and drawing. Thin tips give wonderful effects! My handwriting can get very tiny, so I try to add bigger quotes, headlines and subtitles here and there.

Alexandra Hasdorf

Where are these notes from?
They’re from “The Art of the Impossible” by Dougald Hine, co-founder of the Dark Mountain project, “Facilitation Bootcamp” by Ditte Wulff and “Lifting the Lid of the SDG’s” by Jonathan Dawson, MA Economics program coordinator at Schumacher College.

What are your note-taking essentials?
I always use only three pens, one ultra thin, one thick and one colour. And I try to always add a symbol to whatever I’m writing. It gives a better overview of the page and makes it easier to return to months or years after.

Kai Paludan-Müller

Where are these notes from?
They are all part of my Social Lab-notebook, which I carry around everywhere I go these days. More specifically, they are from a lecture with Zaid Hassan, two different meetings, and a few potentially useful quotes from books and podcasts that all took place in Aarhus.

What was moving inside you when these notes were created?
Looking forward to actually applying and learning from first-hand experience of establishing a Social Lab. I think it was a period of time full of anticipation!

What are your note-taking essentials?
Obviously not aesthetics! I value that all points and my comments to them are written down rather than having visual overview. As for the tools I use, I have been searching for an eternity and have settled on the MD Notebook and HEMA felt-tip fine liners.

Dea Juul Larsen

Where are these notes from?
These notes are from a crash course in Systems Thinking, that Ditte Wulff did with T24 as a part of her Facilitation Bootcamp. I was going to school and following lectures while also being in the midst of planning and coordinating how and when to travel to Outpost in Barcelona, so I was extremely exhausted but yet very engaged these days.

What was moving inside you when these notes were created?
I was super excited to finally get some theory behind something that I had encountered so many times, having worked with facilitation and education for years. It all made sense to me and I saw how I could apply this new theoretical knowledge to my actual work and how this would improve my ability to facilitate groups and move through challenging moments.

What are your note-taking essentials?
Use colours, but not too many at once! I often write with a blue or black pen and then I choose two or three colours that I think go well together. I use them for highlighting important sections such as titles, topics, names, important statements, etc, and for marking transitions.

It is of great value to accompany your notes with small drawings that visualize the essentials of the lecture, and drawings serve well in simplifying abstract concepts, models or even words. The visuals compliments the words and make it easier to interpret and understand the notes when looking back at them afterwards.

Nathalie Wahlberg

Where are these notes from and what was moving inside you when they were created?
These notes were taken in the lecture we had with Morten Nottelman about archetypes. I remember being quite frustrated about his writing on the whiteboard and realising how I had completely lost track on how to make my notes structured as I was trying to follow his lecture.

The second are from our latest Social Lab lecture with Zaid Hassan. I had fun writing them, I think I enjoyed the tempo of the lecture because I had time to both get involved in the discussions, write my own reflections as well as writing down what Zaid wanted us to bring with us from the lecture. It is rare that I feel that I get that creative space once taking part of a lecture.

What are your note-taking essentials?
Always more than less!

Astrid Ibsen

Where are these notes from and what was moving inside you when they were created?
I was trying to get a better understanding of the brief for our first enterprising project. I was eager to create an overview that I could easily use afterwards. It helped and I feel much more relaxed and prepared for the project. The second notes are from a Student Board meeting where I wanted to collect notes quickly. I like making doodles like the one in the corner when I’m listening to other people. It keeps me focused. The third sheet of notes are from a lecture on Visual Literacy. I redid the notes while enjoying a nice cup of tea on a Sunday afternoon. I spent a bit of extra time making it look nice and really enjoy the result!

What are your note-taking essentials?
A lot of different black pens so I can choose which one I’m feel like. The sensation of pen against paper is really important to me and it is very different from pen to pen. I often use a pencil as well so I have a chance to redo it. A few colors are nice–just to highlight the important stuff and spice it up.

Essentially, lower your standards! I sometimes end up not getting everything in a lecture because I’m too focused on how I should draw something.

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