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How to Organize Your Notes

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Even in this messy world that we live in, there can still be some things that have structure and organization.

That fact is especially true when it comes to the structure of your notes on Note Canvas!

When it comes to desktop-based notes applications such as Notion or Evernote, organization is key, as the aforementioned notes apps have collaborative workspaces, which means each set of notes can have multiple people working on them. As of now, Note Canvas only has single-person workspaces, but you have the organizational tools of those notes apps!

Before we get started on how to structure our notes, let's have a review of the basic structure blocks in Note Canvas: Categories, Canvasses, and Objects.

  • Categories are the equivalent of a chapter in a book: they each have their own "pages" called canvasses. All users have a non-deletable "Default" category that is always at the top of the list.

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  • Canvasses are somewhat explained by their own name. You can add the Objects inside of it.

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  • Objects are the smallest individual structure blocks that you can add in your notes, and usually represent just one idea. Object types can range in anything from text boxes, images, videos, PDF's, etc.

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To summarize: categories can have canvasses, which can then have objects.
In analogy form: a category is to a chapter, as a canvas is to a page, as an object is to a paragraph.

With that out of the way, here are two typical structure ideas for you to use. Keep in mind, Blue represents a category, while Green represents a canvas.

  • [ Subject ] - [ Topic ] format (S/T format)
    • This is by far the most basic structuring format.
    • The Subject is the a topic that you can encapsulate into one word. This will be the category.
    • The Topic canvas has all the "topics" of said parent subject, or any type of idea relevant to said subject.
    • So let's say you have an "Integral Calculus" subject. Here's how the structure would look like:
      • Integral Calculus
        • Revisiting: Differential Calculus
        • Basics
        • Integration By Parts
        • Integration By Substitution
        • Formulas

  • [ General Subject ] - [ Sub-Topic/Aspect ] - [ Topic ] format (GS/ST/T format)
    • This is for storing notes on a broader subject over a long period of time, and that you will search for later.
    • The General Subject is a broad concept that is relevant to you, or encapsulates a wide array of topics.
    • The Sub-topic is a topic relevant to the General Subject above.
    • You can substitute the Subject in the earlier example as the Sub-topic here.
      • Math
        • Integral Calculus
          • Revisiting: Differential Calculus 
          • Formulas
          • Integration By Substitution
          • Integration By Parts
          • Basics
        • Algebra
          • Basics
          • System of equations
            • Sequences
              • Equations/Inequalities
                • Statistics

          Those, I believe, are very easy-to-understand category structures.

          Best Practices

          While those are helpful structures, there are still need to be some practices that you would want to observe to not have your notes disorganized. It might not seem like it, but once you get 200-500 canvasses and 100+ categories, navigating around can be a hassle, even with searching. Here are some best practices to keep your notes structured.

          • Don't have too many canvasses in any category.  You will notice that it'll be harder to look for what you're looking for when you have too many canvasses in your category. Keep it to a maximum of around 10-15 objects per category.
          • Subcategorize when needed. It'll be easier to navigate your canvasses.
          • Name all categories with a concept that's very familiar to you. Make the category's name as distinct of a concept as possible. That is of course assuming that you're not using the structure ideas above. It would not be ideal for one to look at their notes later, and not understand the naming convention of those categories.

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