How To Write An Evergreen Atomic Note

Discover the secret to crafting remarkable Evergreen Notes and watch your mind garden flourish.

5 min readApr 20, 2023

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Andy Matuschak proposed the term Evergreen Notes as a means of establishing a personal knowledge bank of interconnected original thoughts.

He based his system on Niklas Luhmann’s slipbox, while introducing a few key differences.

Note: This article accurately outlines the key qualities of an evergreen atomic note as laid out by Andy Matuschak. It’s important to understand the basics and best practices. But overall, I recommend a more flexible form of note-taking.

The Characteristics of an Evergreen Note

There are four essential characteristics of a well-written evergreen note.

  • Concept-Oriented: They capture the essence of an abstract idea.
  • Write for Yourself: You should explain the concept in your own words.
  • Associative Ontologies: They should be organized based on relationship.
  • Atomic: They should contain one single idea.

Atomic notes have their own set of essential characteristics.

  • Single Idea or Concept: Avoid mixing different ideas.
  • Clear, Concise, and Complete: Use simple language to capture the concept comprehensively.
  • Densely Linked: Connect notes to form a web of information.
  • Clear, Brief Title: Use straightforward titles that are easy to link.

Now, let’s dive deeper into each of these aspects.

Evergreen Notes Last Forever

Evergreen notes are individual pieces of wisdom that stand the test of time.

Evergreen notes capture the essence of what you learn and grow along with your knowledge.

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Angie Bowen

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