Encoding is key
Information in isolation isn’t particularly useful.
It’s how we encode the information we learn that influences our ability to be creative with that knowledge later.
Here’s a window into my process.
Everyday, I’m constantly scouring and learning and reading and inhaling and annotating from an infinite number of newspapers, blogs, publications, books, articles, songs, art pieces, podcasts, eavesdroppings, conversations, street art, advertisements, pieces of trash and other sources of inspiration. And the secret is, I take notes. Lots of notes. If it’s interesting, it’s documented. But that’s only the first step in my encoding process.
Everyday, I then transcribe all of my notes into my content management system. Each new idea becomes its own document, saved with a specific filename that’s searchable and sortable.
Everyday, I also walk the factory floor. This is an established parcel of structured curiosity, whereby I casually and thoughtfully peruse every idea I’ve recently accumulated. Because I can’t leverage what I forgot I that had.
Everyday, I take those initial pieces of information and fully fleshing them out. Spawning as many creative offspring as possible. Starting on my small conceptual approximations and traveling the wider vistas they open for us. It’s more of an ongoing process, as opposed to a everyday task.
Ultimately, it’s the combination of each of these encoding phases that enables me to be creative with my information in the future.
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How do you encode the information that you learn?
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