Am I Waisting Time Taking Notes?

I’m learning CSS Grid by Building a Magazine. The Magazine mentions how one of freeCodeCamp’s goals is to induce the flow state.

Am I waisting time taking notes on how elements work if the only thing that will help me remeber them is continuous use? I take notes to help me internalize the meaning of what I do. But sometimes I feel like nothing sticks. I can pass the challenges most of the time by myself or with the hint, but every time I take notes I kill my foward momentum and stop myself from entering “flow.”

I’m leaning toward it’s a waist of time to take notes, and that I should just rampage through all the challenges. But what do my Programming Elders think?

thank you,


It isn’t the same for everyone but I’m not a big proponent of notes or flash cards. You will have to look things up anyway and the resources already exist so why reinvent the wheel? Find good resources, like MDN or whatnot, and look up the information when you need it.

If it is breaking your flow it is definitely not worth it. Or you are at least not taking the notes at the correct time. Use them for reflection, not memorization. So after you are done reflect back on what you learned and by writing it down you can reinforce what you learned.

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Welcome to FCC Forum!

I think it depends if you will review the notes as you are completing the steps. Some people find notes help them. Others learn better through continuous practice.

The truth is freeCodeCamp has a news area in the menu where we can quickly find the answers to questions of how to do most steps. That is how I like to do it. But, that is me. I do use it for reference for others, too, in my guidance to help them.

My suggestion is to follow whatever path of learning feels best for you. This will help you get the furthest.

Sounds like you are progressing great the way you have been doing it!

Keep up your great progress! :slight_smile:

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If your finding its slowing you down, then maybe lay off the notes and see how things go.

I’ve personally found notes to be helpful when writing things down as it forced me to rethink what I just learned, but I rarely look back on them. Its not sensible to create a “source of truth”, when you can look up references online.

Overtime the more you use something the more natural and easy to remember it becomes. Generally as long as you know the name of something, and why you’d want to use it you can look up everything else about it.

Good luck, keep learning, keep growing :+1:

I’m leaning toward it’s a waist of time to take notes, and that I should just rampage through all the challenges. But what do my Programming Elders think?

Don’t worry, we all went through that phase.

Here are some important tips from my own learning experiences of 2021 - 2022


CSS tricks from my own learning hellish experiences

  1. How to use CSS step by step to build webpage based on design

  2. From CSS hater to CSS super confident with below techniques ( share your thoughts )

Last Tips

  • Find study partners and learn together, never ever learn alone.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice
  • Build as many projects from simplest once to increasing complex

All the very best

I’m going to be the contrarian here; I love taking notes, I take them sparingly, and I use a 4x6-notecard Zettelkasten system because it is quite fast and doesn’t break my flow.

What I like about the ZK is that you’re intended to amass as many notes as possible so that, one day and sometime soon, you can argue with yourself instead of just sitting around burning old notebooks because they’re ‘cringe.’

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I agree with everyone that it totally depends on what works best for you, but to also offer validation for this, I personally also take notes to help me understand why I am doing certain things/better understand how it works. While I recognize that repetition and actually coding are going to be the best tools for learning how to actually do it, note taking does help with certain concepts and getting the big picture. While the resources are online, it helps me to put concepts in my own words. :slight_smile:

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If it works for you, that’s great, keep doing it.

I will give a small warning here. Having read enough code comments and code explanations from beginners I know that they are often wrong.

Unless someone more experienced can verify your assumptions, or correct any incorrect technical language, it might not be as helpful to “put it into your own words” as it sounds. You may think you are just rephrasing the information into something more understandable to you when in fact you are re-writing its meaning.

TL;DR if you do take notes, make sure they are correct. How you do that is up to you, but do not assume your understanding is correct just because what you wrote makes sense to you.

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