How Does Elon Musk Take Notes? - Senstone

How Does Elon Musk Take Notes?

4 Mar, 2024

Note-taking habits can reveal a lot about a person, and it’s no surprise that so many people are interested in how Elon Musk takes notes. Some expect to discover a secret to his success, while others seek explanation for his controversial activities. After all, everything starts with an idea – and ideas have to be recorded.

 

So, does Elon Musk keep a secret journal? Does he use the Cornell method? Speech-to-text? Artificial intelligence?

 

“I never take notes,” said Elon Musk on X (formerly Twitter) in March, 2023 and didn’t elaborate.

 

The sentence-long post caused quite a stir. The comments ranged from approval to the snarky “we’ve noticed”. Some people questioned whether Musk was telling the truth: after all, acting contrarian would have been nothing new for him.

 

According to Elon Musk, a biography by Walter Isaacson, even as a young boy Elon Musk was exceptionally academically gifted. In later chapters, Isaacson cites Musk’s co-workers: apparently, he could show up to a meeting and casually recall the most minute details of his projects, previous meetings, and so on.

 

Maye Musk provides some more information, which make it seem like Elon Musk has a unique asset: his memory. In one of the interviews, Maye Musk says that as a child he “memorized the Encyclopedia Britannica” – at the age of eight!

 

The hypothesis about Elon Musk having eidetic memory has been floating around the internet for a while. If he does remember everything, that can explain his note-taking habits (or lack thereof). However, there is no actual proof. For all we know, Elon Musk could be using mnemonic tricks to memorize only the info he deems relevant.

 

Overall, Elon Musk likes to be mysterious, secretive, and random. His public image is carefully maintained, so we know very little about his creative process. The best we can do is to quote some advice on learning that he gave on Reddit a few years ago:

 

…I think most people can learn a lot more than they think they can. They sell themselves short without trying. One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.

 

This echoes the sentiment that most educators and scientists hold: re-invent the basics if need be, but you have to master them in order to understand the subject.

 

If you want to learn more about successful people and their note-taking techniques, subscribe to our newsletter or simply bookmark this blog where we post about all things efficiency.

 

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