One of the principles of my method of learning is to maximize the number of high quality inputs to my brain.

As I’ve previously written, I don’t seek to cultivate them, instead following my curiosity wherever it goes. I think this leaves me open to serendipity, while also ensuring my learning never feels like work.

Another general guiding light is that I don’t care to be too diligent in capturing every idea I have, because in general, the good stuff sticks.1 That being said, I have wondered where a particular idea came from, or what started a specific pattern of thought.

For that reason, I’m trying an experiment. Whenever I start a new podcast or audiobook, I take a screenshot. Whenever I pick up a book, I take a picture of the page I’m on. Whenever I read an blog post, I send the .webarchive to DEVONthink.

So, what am I doing with this data, these breadcrumbs? Currently nothing. Right now, all these pictures are cluttering up my iCloud Photo Stream. I have a tentative plan to put everything in DEVONthink, but I still don’t have the app truly figured out. Plus, it’s seems like a lot of work. I’ve thought about how I might post them here, but I’m already a dozen books behind the tracking I already ostensibly do here. I’ve considered putting it out on Instagram, but I use that app in receive mode right now, so I’d have to start from scratch. In the end, I may never do anything with the information.

In the meantime, I guess I’ll just gather the input, in case inspiration strikes.

  1. This concept is borrowed from Cal Fussman, whom I first discovered in an interview he did with Tim Ferriss. The relevant story begins at time 2:55:30, but the whole conversation is fascinating. ↩︎