Having completed the first module of my EdD, we move on to Methods of Enquiry (1) which is to write a proposal for an intitutionally focused study. This proposal is 5,000 words and has to have a clear rationale as well as demonstrate an understanding of relevant research and literature. I have to set out an appropriate theoretical framework and design my research showing clear research methods. This post is about the Zettelkasten note-taking method and Roam.

As any doctoral student will attest, the reading required is immense. I read many, many more books and chapters for my first assignment than I referenced in the final submission, yet I have not established an efficient method of taking notes, retrieving ideas, or creating a database of ideas. I have some notes in Zotero but I’m not yet self-disciplined enough to ensure that I record what I read.

For the previous module (Foundations of Professionalism) and this module (Methods of Enquiry 1) I organised my learning through Notion  – a brilliant app that is cross-platform and allowed me to organise everything to do with the modules in one place – reading lists, notes, vocabulary, videos, etc. I got on well with that, but then stumbled across Roam from roamresearch.com

It appears that there is growing support for this new platform and it is free to use at the moment (April 2020).

Fortunately there are plenty of articles and videos on the web that demonstrate how to organise notes and also how to use software such as Notion and Roam. This video by Shu Omi introduced me to the Zettelkasten method of notetaking through using Roam. 

Niklas Luhmann invented the notetaking method – a quick search using your favourite search engine will bring up a great deal of information about him and his methods.

I will be using Roam to develop my research proposal for Methods of Enquiry 1, incorporating my reading and notes. If I can get to grips with the Zettelkasten note-taking method and Roam, I am sure there will be a benefit.