Podcasts are a great source of knowledge and insight, and taking smart notes on them can be a challenge. We often find ourselves listening to podcasts while on the go, whether it's in the car, at the gym, or going for a walk. In this tutorial, I'm going to explain three different methods for taking smart notes on podcasts.

Core Principles of Taking Smart Notes

Before we dive into the methods, let's review the core principles for taking smart notes. Fleeting notes are reminders of the main points, ideas, or stories that a guest mentions in a podcast episode. I like to write these down in a notebook since they're throwaway notes. You can also just capture the thought inside of mem.

The core step of taking smart notes is what are called literature notes. These are where you rewrite an idea in your own words and then link back to the source. You should also ask questions that encourage elaboration and come up with some of your own ideas.

Three Methods for Taking Smart Notes on Podcasts

Below I’ve shared three methods for taking smart note on podcasts. Each of them have adavantages and disadvatnages. Whichever one you choose is a matter of personal preference. But each one will help you get more value from the knowledge you gain listening to podcasts. 

Method 1: By Memory

With this method, you'll reflect on what you've heard. Then you create a mem for each of the key insights you've gained from the podcast. 

Pros: Forces you to use Retrieval Practice for The Purpose of Learning. And it will also lead to a lot of your own insights. 
Cons: Harder to remember the things that stood out as time passes.

An example of this method is when I had Robert Waldinger on my podcast. He said that relationships deregulate stress and I wrote this down in a note. I linked back to the podcast transcript since I have access to it. If you don't have access to the transcript, you can just link to the podcast episode and rewrite the insight in your own words.

With this method, you go through each transcript and use Progressive Summarization to highlight and bold things. Then, for things that really stand out, you'll create bidirectional links by pushing them into new mems and rewrite the insight in your own words without referring back to the transcript.

Pros: You have access to the transcript, so it doesn't matter if you listened to it a month ago or a week ago. Also, you'll notice a lot more opportunities to generate notes.

Cons: Transcripts are long and they can take a long time to read. You also have to use a service to transcribe the episodes.

Method 3: A Podcast Player that Lets You Capture Highlights

With this method, you'll use a tool like Snipd. Anytime you hear something you want to capture, you can press a button and it saves it with the transcript. This is really helpful if you're on the go and don't have access to your computer.

The downside is that the audio clip and transcript may not be perfect and you have to adjust the markers. But Snipd also gives you two key takeaways for each clip you capture. If you want to learn more about Snipd, you can go to snipd.com.

To recap, there are three basic methods for taking smart notes on podcasts. The first is to just listen and write down your notes by memory. The second is to create a transcript, progressively summarize it, and add bidirectional links. The third is to use a podcast player that lets you capture highlights.

Taking smart notes on podcasts is an invaluable skill that can help you learn and retain more of the knowledge and insights that you hear. With the right tools and techniques, you can make the most of the podcasts you listen to and maximize your output.