Reviewing and note-taking tutorials

March 01, 2013


Being a polyglot geek (TODO: be more modest), I’m constantly watching a lot of talks, screencasts and tutorials (eg. Railscasts, Peepcode, Tuts+ and many others) and reading a lot of IT books and articles. Problem is, how to keep track of them and how to effectively (and comfortably at the same time) take notes.

Not so good solutions

  • Plain markdown – not enough, cannot attach images, source code, video etc.
  • Evernote – very proprietary format, not so happy with Evernote UI and particularly complicated note formatting

Not so good solution, but so far the best

Combination of one main markdown document + optionally one attached directory with assets: screenshots, source files, slides, …

My screencasts workflow

I watch screencasts on iPad (via AirVideo app), so I can pay full attention (I cannot achieve when watching on Macbook with so much distractions) and make screenshots of interesting stuff. Later (within one week) I import images to Macbook and write some notes in markdown.


I prepared simple shell script to quickly initialize & open markdown document and folder of desired name

# ======

echo "Preparing structure for taking notes: $input"

Change directory
# ==============
cd /Users/strajk/Dropbox/Notes/app/views/events

Create and open notes file
# ========================

if [[ ! -f $file ]]; then
 touch $file

open -a '/Applications/' $file

Create directory
# ==============
mkdir $input

Open finder
# =========
open -a Finder $input