In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use your notes in Mem to create content like blog posts, outlines for projects, podcast episodes and video tutorials.

Foundational Concepts

First, you need to understand the foundational concepts. You need to accumulate a critical mass of knowledge, and then you need to process your notes, and make connections between your ideas.

1.Accumulate Critical Mass of Knowledge 

The first stage of the knowledge generation cycle is to accumulate a critical mass of knowledge. This is when you start being able to make connections between your ideas. But it's not just a critical mass of notes, it's a critical mass of knowledge building blocks, which are discrete, based on your perspective, and stored outside your brain.

2.Take Smart Notes 

Most people take notes by listening to a podcast, reading a book or taking a course, and then highlighting some passages. They export their notes to a tool like Notion or Readwise and call it a day. However, this method of taking notes often leads to collecting useless information. This is because storing information does not require cognitive effort, and thus it does not become knowledge. Your notes become far more useful and valuable when you ask questions that encourage elaboration, convert knowledge into action.

Step 1: Capture and Organize

When you separate capture and organize into two distinct steps, it gives you time and space to Observe, Reflect and Write about the ideas you've captured. Taking good notes is reflective, not reactive. Any idea worth exploring requires time for reflection. 

Organizing in other note-taking applications can be a time-consuming task, but with Mem it's easy to get your notes in order. You can use Mem spotlight to capture information from external sources and to capture ideas as they occur. You can also use bidirectional links to capture new insights based on current notes.

Step 2: Connect 

After you've captured and organized your notes, you need to connect your ideas. You can build an archipelago of ideas before you start writing, which allows you to gather all resources for a project in one place. You can also use progressive summarization to identify key points within any source, whether it's notes from a book or a podcast transcript. This makes it much easier to extract the information in any source you want to use.

Building an Archipelago of Ideas before you start writing allows you to gather all resources for a project in one place. You can take this same approach to creating content, so you don't have to start with a blank page. 

For example, if you're writing an essay on What I Wish I'd Known When I Started Dating, you can gather quotes from books, quotes from podcast episodes, and notes that you've captured in Mem. This way, you have a pool of resources to draw from when you start writing. 

Progressive Summarization helps you identify key points within any source, whether it's notes from a book or a podcast transcript. This makes it much easier to extract the information in any source you want to use.

Step 3: Use Your Notes to Create Content 

Now that you've captured and organized your notes using the methods above, you're ready to start creating content. There are a few different ways you can go about this.

Example 1: Use Your Notes to Write and Article 

The idea for this series came about from a conversation I was having with my roommate. We were talking about all the things we wish we knew when we started doing different things. For example, I wish I knew when I started a business. My roommate said I could do a whole series on this.

  • I started jotting all my ideas down in mem. 
  • I gathered notes from different sources before even starting to write the article.
  • In addition to that, I gathered all my different notes that I'd taken.
I was able to speed up the process of writing this article by sifting through my mem notes and putting them in order.
I was able to write this article using all those notes, and much faster than I thought. I approached it in small chunks, breaking the article into manageable pieces.

Example 2: Use Your Notes to Outline an Article 

When you're using your notes to write an article, it's helpful to have a structure in place. I like to use an approach called the "PARA" method, which stands for Projects, Areas, Resources, and Archives. This method helps you to organize your thoughts and ideas in a way that makes it easy to find what you need when you need it. 

  • To write a blog post, start by looking for relevant quotes, ideas, and resources in your notes. 
  • Create a list of topics you want to cover in the article, then use your notes to outline the article.
  • Your notes are a valuable resource that can help you create high-quality content.
I may not write the article in the same order that my notes are organized, but having a structure in place helps me to organize my thoughts and ideas in a way that makes it easy to find what I need when I need it.

In the video, I go into examples of how to use these steps to outline a video tutorial and plan a podcast episode.