Someone probably looked up one day and said, “That is the ‘sky’.” They told their friends, and then they told their friends. At some point, when anyone looked up at the vast expanse above them and needed a way to describe it, the word that came to mind was “sky.”

Maybe there is something that you are looking at in your life that will have a similar story one day. It might not be as profound as naming “sky,” but it describes a service we use like “Google” or “Uber.” A sport we play like “football” or “parkour.” A meme that you blurt out around your friends.

If you want to get cracking on this potential future, a great place to start is taking notes. Taking notes is essentially a form of language in itself. When we jot down key points or important information concisely and organized, we are essentially creating a shorthand version of the original message. Using acronyms or abbreviations in our notes is a way to condense information further and make it easier to reference and understand later.

my notes on the “protoflow” project

For example, in a lecture or meeting, taking notes using abbreviations like “CRM” for Content Resource Management or “ROI” for Return on Investment lets us quickly capture the main ideas without writing the entire phrase each time. These acronyms function as a form of language that conveys specific meanings to us and others familiar with them.

Additionally, note-taking often involves organizing information into categories or hierarchies, similar to how language functions with grammar rules and sentence structures. By categorizing information and connecting related points in our notes, we create a coherent narrative that helps us better understand and retain the presented information.

By taking notes and writing down what you see around you, maybe there is a word that starts to emerge. An undeniable thing or pattern that you have to come up with a word to describe in your notes. A unifying concept that you eventually share with others and explain to them what you are seeing.

I use LogSeq every day to take notes, and there is an excellent YouTube playlist and course for getting started that provides some helpful intuition around building an atomic habit of note-taking.