Taking good notes requires more than just writing down what you've watched - it's the difference between watching and learning.
One of the most basic ways to learn is the act of taking notes. Anyone can write notes, but it’s the quality of the notes that determines if it’s really something useful that can be looked back upon and reviewed, or just throwaway.
The most basic method of taking notes on video is to write notes at a specific timestamp. The idea is that you find a key moment in the video that you can jump back to, and then jot down some notes.
A major weakness of timestamps is that they only capture a single frame out of the entire video, which results in having to guess when a clip should end, or what part is truly the most important.
Instead, ClipNotes is all about creating specific clips and then adding notes, so that reviewing later down the line is simple and effective.
The first and most basic method is creating a video clip, with very little text, because all the relevant information is found within the video itself. This is extremely similar to creating GIFs that are easy to share, highly informative, and don’t require much additional text explanation.
Example: 6 Minute Abs ClipNotes
By creating these simple clips, it’s much easier to get exactly what you want when you go back to watch the video.
The second method is to add an additional summary with each clip. It is crucial to find a key clip that works well with the notes in order to better reinforce the key takeaways.
Example: How to DJ - Blending One Track into Another
When the notes and video complement each other well, it's substantially more useful later when you need to review.
The third method has a more creative twist - write down an important question instead of a statement. Use the clip itself to answer the question, or write an additional answer afterwards.
Example: Learnings from a Marketplace Focused Product Manager
By writing a question instead of a statement, you’re challenging yourself to recall the information, which actually results in better learning in the long run (active recall). The video serves as an easy way to obtain the answer if you’ve forgotten.
When watching a video, sometimes it’s necessary to watch it a few times to truly understand. ClipNotes gives you the ability to either loop a clip multiple times or let it play just once.
No Loop Example: Learnings from Steve Jobs
With clips that are longer and involve more of someone giving a lecture or discussing something, you generally would only want to listen to once.
Loop Example: How to Skimboard
Sports, and other dynamic things like video games, really lend themselves well to loop, because the action happens so quickly and it’s unlikely that you can understand everything the first time you watch it. Just think of slow motion replays and how helpful they are!
The last method of note taking is the most flexible, which is to add additional context to the video to make it even more useful.
Example: Alison Roman’s Chickpea Stew Recipe
In this example, I decided to add the ingredients list for this particular step of the recipe, even though she doesn’t talk about the exact quantities during this moment of the video.