The Importance of Keeping Notes (Revisited)

The Importance of Keeping Notes

Posted by V. T. Eric Layton on Mar 30, 2010


All Linux Explorers, but most especially new ones, will find it beneficial in the extreme to keep notes of their adventures as they progress in GNU/Linux Land.

My Linux Notebook is a simple bound composition book that you can buy in any grocery or general merchandise store. It looks like this…

…and costs a buck or so. If I had known then what I know now, I would have chosen a loose leaf version. I have many additions to my current notebook. I just slide in loose leaf pages within this existing composition notebook. A loose leaf binder would have been neater.

I divided up my notebook with stick on tabs. They divide the notebook into “General Linux” and “<insert name here>” distributions. I have a tab for each distribution that I’ve ever installed on any of my systems.

From the very start of the particular Linux adventure, the downloading/burning of the CD/DVD, I am taking notes. I write down the source of the download, the date of the CD/DVD creation, the method and means of partitioning, etc. After that, I take notes on everything that I do to setup and customize the operating system.

As I continue to use and learn more about the particular distro, I maintain my notes for that distribution. Not only is it helpful in learning the particular ins and outs of a distribution, but it’s very handy to have these notes when helping others or when reinstalling months later.

In the General Linux area, I keep all my notes about BASH, general scripting, init script tricks, tweaks for hardware, tweaks for GUI interfaces, etc. Basically, anything that is useful across Linux platforms gets jotted down in this area.

I cannot tell you the number of times in the past 3+ years that having these notes has saved my rear end. If my house caught on fire, I’d grab four things…my three cats and my Linux notebook!

Best of luck with your Linux Adventure!

Until next time…



This post is 100% my original material, but originally appeared in my blog, $ ls -al everything_linux | more

1 Comment

  1. chrisretusn

    31 March 2010 Whole heartedly agree Eric. I’ve been keeping notes since I first started computing. I have several three ring binders, spiral bound notebooks and notebooks like yours. I also have several folders of printed material.


*The above article and comment republished here were originally from Nocturnal Slacker | Lockergnome (inactive).

10 Comments on “The Importance of Keeping Notes (Revisited)”

  1. Josh Sabboth says:

    Great post Eric!! I really need to start taking notes as all of my data is scattered between bookmarks, text files, and just stuff I remember. Any tips on getting started?

    • Thanks. It’s an oldie-but-a-goodie. You’ve seen it before on and Lockergnome. I’m trying (over the next couple weeks) to consolidate my articles from other places to, hence the “summer reruns” that you’ll be seeing. 😉

  2. Never too early to start keeping notes. It’s amazing how many times one does something really cool and can’t remember how to replicate it! Groan!

    • Yup. I actually bought four more of those composition type notebooks like the one pictured in the article above. They were just 40 cents each at Walmart. They were even made in the USA. I was impressed! 🙂

  3. Ah, gotta love those back to school sales…and they do seem to be starting already at Walmart.

  4. Dave says:

    Loose-leaf binders??? Notes on paper??? Paper??? Has no-one ever heard of Zim? Or even Knotes? Xpad?

    In faith, Dave
    Viva Texas

    • I’m old-fashioned, Dave. 😉 The point is really just to take notes… using whatever means works best for you.

      Regards, and thanks for stopping by to read/comment. 🙂


  5. mechatotoro says:

    Eric, I’m dumbfounded… We newbies really tend to overlook the obvious. Something so simple and it never occurred to me! Well, I started my blog for that purpose, but nothing beats the practicality of a notebook. I hope things never get as bad as for you to try to grab the three cats and the notebook 😉 I’m sure that while I’ll be busy getting my wife, baby, and notebook out, my two cats will probably be outside timing my performance 😛

    • Hola, mechatotoro! 🙂

      Yes, it may seem obvious to some, but it still amazes me the number of people I know who keep no notes at all. They’re constantly having to relearn even the simplest things in Linux. Of course, most of these folks are the type who expect everyone to provide them with the answers they need with no effort on their own parts. I’m sure you’ve seen the type I mean.

      Your cats timing the performance… HAHA! That would be just like cats to do something like that, too. 🙂

      Good to see you again! Thank you for stopping by to read/post, my friend.


  6. […] The Importance of Keeping Notes All Linux Explorers, but most especially new ones, will find it beneficial in the extreme to keep notes of their adventures as they progress in GNU/Linux Land. […]

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