Following the post on a simple note-making technique, here are some ideas on basic tools for thinking on paper:
- a simple symbol and
- a key question it stands for
– like this:
stands for “What’s wrong here?”
stands for “What could I do?”
stands for “What would be logical?”
- Most important:
I see no need to use the symbols all the time – when my work flows without them, everything is fine.
But when I get stuck, using = “What’s wrong here?” very often helps.
- The symbols are designed for quick writing.
I gave the question “What would be logical?” the most simple symbol since I use it most often.
- The questions are designed to be “fail-proof” in the sense that they should lead to some progress in practically every situation.
- The exact phrasing of a question seems to me a matter of personal liking.
Instead of “What would be logical?” you might try “What would be natural?” or a simple urging “So?!”.
- There are countless other possible symbols and questions. The above three questions, with their focus on obstacles, options and next steps, seem essential to me.
- As described earlier:
If the question “What could I do?” leads me to several options that are worth trying, I use for each of them a circle “o” as a reminder for examination. Later I can tick off the options I have tried.
Here’s the next sandbox example – click to enlarge:
Next comes a post on Math Problem Solving Tools.