# Note-Taking vs Note-Making: From Passive Collecting to Active Thinking
It wasn’t until recently that I learned that there is a difference between note taking and note making (thanks Nick Milo). And that for most of my life I have been a note taker. A collector of knowledge. A digital hoarder.
I have thousands (and I mean thousands) of notes that I have taken over the years from scientific papers, books, news articles, videos, webpages, courses, etc. It’s how I learn. Or at least, I thought it was.
Note-taking is a passive process and I had fallen into the trap of mindlessly trying to collect everything. And note taking does not leave room for actual thinking. Thankfully, over the last few years I have spent way more time note-*making*.
Note making means that I am spending my time thinking in an active, engaged way — making sense of the information I encounter (notes I take). As a result I no longer try foolishly to collect every piece of data I come across (most of the time).
Instead, as I come across something new, I work hard to think about it in 3 different ways:
1. **Creatively** - does this interest me?
2. **Critically** - Is it good?
3. **Connectively** - Does it connect to what I am doing?
This creates a positive feedback loop to encourage more active, engaged thinking. And what tends to happen is, if the 3 points have been ticked, I end up with a nagging feeling. A need to *make* something. To connect the dots and write down my own ideas and conclusions. A need to write a [[Blogs]] or article.
After all, it’s how I make sense of the world around me and my place within it. Not through note taking but in actual fact, through note making.