Sam Breed

Product Developer, Investor

Note Taking

My habits and practices for taking good notes

First posted on

I started keeping comprehensive digital notes in late 2020.

Previously, I had kept limited digital notes because of concerns over work confidentiality: I was almost exclusively using a corporate-issued laptop, attended in-person meetings for the majority of most days, and taking all of my notes with pen and paper in spiral bound notebooks.

I took seriously the dictum to not use any 3rd party syncing software, though I never handed over the notebooks. Looking back over the notes now yields very little actual information, instead mostly half checked todo lists, phrases from meetings, and little geometric drawings. At that job I used Google Docs heavily, and what wasn’t in there was in documentation repos. I kept personal notes on my phone in iA Writer going back to 2016.

In the early 2010s I cycled through many different tools: Wunderlist, Evernote, paper notebooks, email, and project management software like Sprintly and Pivotal tracker.


I am not a zettlekasten zealot, but I do have a “system.”


I’ve been using Obsidian since 2021 and it’s been exactly what I had been looking for in a note taking app. Namely:

Before that I used Roam Research. I give credit to Roam for introducing me to the concept of a daily note.