There's a commonly used concept of evergreen notes (I recommend you to explore Maggie Appleton's incredible visualisation if you are unfamiliar with this term.) Evergreen notes are "living" notes, which are densely interlinked and tended to like trees in a garden.1 This concept resonates with me, but lets propose a simplification...

In essence, there are two types of notes:

  • Static notes: These are (generally speaking) fleeting notes, project notes or literature notes2. For me, these are often used during lectures or as a scratchpad, and are useful for supporting working memory. However, they are normally forgotten or quickly discarded and thus serve no actual lasting purpose.
  • Dynamic notes: These notes are similar to the abovementioned concept of evergreen notes. Based on knowledge or ideas aquired from static notes, they are generalized, atomic and constantly evolving. They should ideally represent the current knowledge of the writer, and aid their memory.

Static and dynamic notes represent two equally important aspects of note-taking that should complement eachother.


Matuschak, A. (n.d.). Evergreen notes. Andyʼs Working Notes. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from


Liu, Y. (2021, July 23). How to take smart notes (Ahrens, 2017). Lesswrong.

22:55 Saturday 20 March 2021