I love to build LEGO sets with my daughter. One of my favorites was the TARDIS control room from Doctor Who and right now the Razor Crest from the Mandalorian. The reason why LEGOs are such a successful toy is that any piece has the ability to connect to any other piece. This means that the combinations are endless, limited only by the imagination.
Recently Tiago Forte of Forte Labs wrote a post on his web site that showed why notes, especially digital ones, are the basic building blocks of knowledge work. He proposed a new definition of a digital note:
A digital note is a “knowledge building block” – a discrete unit of information interpreted through your unique perspective and stored outside your head.
This is similar to a definition of a note that I made in my article on Efficient Librarianship in Public Libraries magazine. In that article I stated that a note was “an information artifact of perceived value.”
In his post, Tiago illustrates a different perspective on how to view digital notes. They are the LEGOs of knowledge work.
Like a LEGO block, a knowledge building block stands on its own and has intrinsic value. Yet each block can also be combined with others into greater works – a report, an essay, a website, or a video for example.
And just like LEGOs, these building blocks are reusable. You only need to put in the effort to create a note once, and then it can be mixed and matched with other notes again and again for any kind of project you work on, now or in the future.