My experience taking the "From Collector to Creator" course

This week I finished the last module of the From Collector to Creator course provided by Anne-Laure Le Cunff over at Ness labs. I wanted to write a few words about what I thought about the system and what I learned.

a month ago   •   2 min read

By Eric Gregorich
Table of contents

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone who wants to go beyond collecting (articles, books, videos, courses, etc. ) and start doing something with all of that knowledge by creating your own thoughts and ideas.

While the course covers the steps from collection to published content, you'll still find benefits from the system if you do not want to share your creations with others. The things you will learn can help you become a better thinker and creator.

Why did I take the course?

I have come to the conclusion that I actually enjoy writing. It helps me focus and think. But I have never been good at it. Not only with the writing itself, but the process of writing. I would always start with a blank page and not know where to begin.

I was also always a good note-taker. Meaning, I would capture everything that came up during the day. Meeting notes, ideas, troubleshooting steps, and everything in between. But somehow, those notes would disappear, and I never look at them again.

I recently stumbled into Zettelkasten. I think this started when I discovered Roam Research, and later Obsidian. Then I read How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens. This helped me realize a better way of taking notes. After I started taking better notes, I wanted to share many of them and learn how to take it to the next level. This is when I found the From Collector to Creator course. I happened already to be a member of the Ness Labs community, so this was a no-brainer!

What does the course cover?

Cognition

How to prepare yourself mentally. This includes making decisions about the type of content you want to create, the content format, how often you will publish, and what tools to use.

There are helpful tips for making these decisions. It also focuses on time-blocking, note-taking styles, and an emphasis on finding accountability through a thinking-buddy or a community.

Collection

This is the part I was always good at. Or so I thought. This is how to find inspiration through books, articles, podcasts, courses, conversations, etc. As well as through your own introspection.

How to create a process to take you from note-taking to note-making! It covers a wide variety of tools that can be used, but the focus is on the process.

Connection

Explore different ways to think, choose a topic from existing ideas, and connect ideas to form something new.

Creation

Create something from your ideas. Learn how to create an outline, create a draft, and how to publish your content. Provides various ideas for getting feedback and promoting your creations.

My Overall Impressions

Ann-Laure has a very thoughtful way of teaching and is extremely patient, intelligent, and humble. She answered questions and provided feedback on our work.

The pace was just right. We would be introduced to a topic, and workshops would follow it. Mixed with several opportunities to work with the community to get feedback and go even further.

One of the biggest surprises for me was the Ness Labs community. I'm not usually big on communities. But the community members are all engaging and helpful. I'm hoping to form some long-term relationships with these like-minded adventurers.

If you ever have the opportunity to take the course, I highly recommend it.

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