Quite often when I learn new things: new joseki or probe moves (or maybe ideas in general), I forget them in no time. Now I’m considering writing most important stuff down, so I can review everything from time to time, but so far I’m too lazy to make good and useful notes. I would like to hear your opinions on this “go notebook” idea. Would this be useful or it’s just a waste of time? Does anyone do something similar to that or everyone is just relying on brain memory?
Taking notes is a good idea, especially if you attend a Go lecture, but I don’t find it that helpful in remembering.
The obvious answer here is to use what you learned in your games while it’s still fresh. You are more likely to remember it then. If you use it once or twice, you are still likely to forget, so the key here is to use what you learned often and over an extended period of time. I.e. twice a week for the first week, then once a week after that, then every other week, and so on.
Another useful trick- say for example you botched a joseki in a game. Look up the joseki as soon as the game is finished. You are more likely to remember it because it has special meaning to you.
According to one learning theory, people have different, individual ways of learning, corresponding to a particular type of intelligence (I think there are supposed to be 8 types if memory serves). Information is better remembered when multiple modes of learning are used, and when one uses a mode that is best for oneself. Some of the modes are visual, aural, tactile, and linguistic. Taking a go joseki for example, you might hear it and repeat it aloud (aural), play it on a physical (not digital) board (tactile and visual), stare at the position and think about it (visual), or write it down as you propose (linguistic and visual). All of these are reinforced by repetition. When I was in 8th grade, they made us write down new words that we encountered, look up the definition, and write that down too. This was linguistic, visual, and tactile. I kept it up through my early college years and still have the diary. It was a very good method for me.
Of course, at my age it begins to be a losing battle, but one can still “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Lol