thinking must produce insight. And insight cannot be predetermined. They usually arrive as vague ideas become clearer. The path from vague ideas to insight is non-linear (Writing is a non-linear process). Only a flexible system unbounded by planning is the natural container to capture insights (Flexibility requires an equally flexible work structure). This is because Planning is unsuitable for thinking.

A flexible writing system should allow you to Use curiosity to guide your thinking and shift your attention to follow leads without destroying the bigger structure and trajectory of a project. This is the only way to be open to insights. And again, this is related to the subject of autonomy because A good workflow optimizes freedom.


  • The system should also encourage the immediate capture and nurturing of insight. Insight sometimes comes after repeated practice or returning to the same problem repeatedly. I discovered from doing my annual review routine that I have refined my answer to a question or problem in between several months, something I won’t see if I don’t make an annual review. Therefore, the life management system, specifically forest garden of the mind should encourage easy capture and continuous review to help me think and feel better and, therefore, live better.


Ahrens, S. (2017). How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.