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Understanding Note-Taking as a Busy Professional: Shallow vs Deep Thinking


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In a recent video by Tom Solid, he delves into the critical role of note-taking in business environments, particularly focusing on the distinction between shallow and deep thinking, and the use of various tools for note-taking. Alongside his co-host and friend Paco Cantero, Tom explores the complexities and nuances of digital note-taking in the business world, emphasizing the need for different tools for varying note-taking requirements.

The Importance of Note Taking in Business

The conversation begins with a discussion on the struggles many face with digital note-taking in business. The duo emphasizes the importance of distinguishing between shallow and deep thinking and selecting appropriate tools for each.

The Difference Between Shallow and Deep Thinking

Tom and Paco explain shallow thinking as using the brain for tasks that don’t require significant time or focus, like jotting down quick notes or reminders. In contrast, deep thinking involves thoroughly understanding complex topics, requiring focus and detailed thought.

The Role of Different Tools in Note Taking

They discuss the common query about the “best note-taking app,” addressing the misconception that one tool can fit all purposes. The discussion leads to the introduction of tools like Apple Notes and ClickUp, explaining their relevance in different contexts of note taking.

The Use of Tools Like Apple Notes and ClickUp

The conversation shifts to the practical application of these tools in various scenarios, underlining the importance of choosing the right tool based on the specific type of note-taking – be it for meetings, personal reminders, or in-depth research.

The Concept of Single Source of Truth

Tom and Paco introduce the concept of a “single source of truth” in note-taking, explaining how different types of information are stored in various places, depending on their nature and relevance.

The Process of Capturing Information

They then delve into techniques like outlining and the process of capturing information effortlessly, stressing the importance of choosing tools based on individual needs and situations.

The Use of Tools Like Reader, TANA, and Heptabase

The discussion includes an in-depth look at specific tools like Reader, TANA, and Heptabase, and how they cater to different aspects of note-taking, from shallow to deep thinking.

The Process of Differentiating Between TANA and Heptabase

Further, they discuss the process of moving information between these tools, emphasizing how each tool’s unique features cater to different thinking processes.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Tom and Paco advise their audience to be aware of different information types and to choose tools accordingly. They invite busy professionals to explore the Paperless Movement® Membership, which offers comprehensive courses and personal coaching on Note-Taking, Personal Knowledge Management (PKM), Task Management, and Project Management.

For more insights and to join a community dedicated to mastering digital productivity, consider signing up for the Paperless Movement® Membership at

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