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Running note — Nr. 118
You should create a running note when you're doing lots of thinking.
You should keep a running note when your activity involves lots of thinking. I like to use Apple Notes. I’ll write down the questions I have in my head.
For example, when you're learning something new. This week, I learned how to make TicTacToe in my programming exercise. I open a running note to break the problems into smaller pieces. I wrote, “How to detect the winner in TicTacToe?” “How to alternate between O and X?”
This way, I can unload the information from my brain, it frees up my prefrontal cortex. So, I can use my brain power to solve the problem instead of holding the information.
The running note will look like a FAQ document at the end of the day. There’s a question, and there’s an answer. It helps me to think clearly.
Designers can benefit from running doc as well. When you design an interaction, you must make many decisions. So it’s helpful to write your temporary decision and then assess it.
For example, I am designing a calendar interface this week. I was contemplating whether or not users can change the block’s color on the calendar. After considering a few things, I wrote, “Users can’t change the calendar block color for now.” At least not for this first version; it is not critical. I’d rather invest the energy in the other critical parts of delivering user value.
This can prevent us from procrastinating as well.
You can ignore grammar and mechanics when writing a running note. For example, I write something like this: “When users click block - - show the dialog - - user can edit file name?” I find dashes are helpful to split different parts of my thinking.
Step 0: Choose your note-taking app.
Step 1: Write down the question or statement in bold. When unsure what decision to make, starting with a question is useful. Or write down assumptions in a statement format. Keep this short. Think of this like your heading.
Step 2: Elaborate. Under the bolded statement or questions, write down your thinking.
Step 3: Clean up. It's helpful to quickly summarize your decision so you can move on to the next problem. The clean-looking note is also appetizing.
PS. Substack is boring. I missed my old blog.