Matuschak, A. (n.d.). Prefer note titles with complete phrases to sharpen claims. Andyʼs Working Notes. Retrieved November 14, 2021, from

using complete phrases as note titles helps maintain concept-orientation

These are often declarative or imperative phrases making a strong claim.

If I write a note but struggle to summarize it in a sharp title, that’s often a sign that my thinking is muddy or that this note is about several topics

the solution is to break the ideas down and write about the bits I understand best first.

Questions also make good note titles because that position creates pressure to make the question get to the core of the matter. Some questions really are evergreen; others are more ephemeral creative prompts. The goal with the latter type of note is to eventually drop the question mark, refactoring it into declarative/imperative notes.

I use nouns and noun phrases in note titles only to define core terms (which other notes generally orbit around). Outline notes

I often begin by writing a note without knowing what the title will be. The title often emerges from the text as it’s written. When a note suggests a strong title with a clear claim, that’s a good sign that it’s starting to make sense.