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Notes and indexes build a scaffolding that holds new ideas in place

You may think note-taking is just for college students, but taking notes preserves the essence and context of what you're taking in. If it's a book, you could organize your thoughts with a commonplace book, which is a book containing excerpts from other books. Although it requires a bit more effort, it could also help you connect and organize your ideas in ways you couldn't with a computer. You could also organize your book's contents and your notes with an idea index.
There is a new profession of trail blazers, those who find delight in the task of establishing useful trails through the enormous mass of the common record. The inheritance from the master becomes, not only his additions to the world's record, but for his disciples the entire scaffolding by which they were erected.