1-MINUTE THOUGHTS

Thoughtful People Summarise Links Before Sharing Them

It’s a skill that will benefit the way you take notes, too

Ellane W
2 min readMar 15, 2023

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Cartoon line drawing showing two people in an office situation. One is working at a desk, turning around to look at the other, who is speaking to them. The second person has a speech bubble containing 3 concise points, while holding a page containing many lines of text and a video.
Image by Author

When you’ve seen something that you think someone you know would appreciate, it’s natural to want to share it with them. So you send them a link. Nice! You’re a thoughtful, caring kind of person.

But are you really coming across that way?

Your time is precious, and so is the time of the people who receive your recommendations. Try this: when sending someone a link to something you think they’ll benefit from, tell them why as accurately as you can, in as few words as possible.

If you’re having a busy day and I send you this message —

So cool! Check it out! https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586–023–00709–7

— you’ll probably set it aside for a later that never comes.

But if the message looks like this —

Hey, thought this might help S with that homework assignment. They’ve mapped the brains of fruit flies, and it’s helping research on degenerative brain diseases. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586–023–00709–7

— you’ll know exactly why I think you should take a look, what I think you’ll take away from it, and you have enough information to know if it’s relevant to something you’re doing right now, or can be looked at later.

The practice of summarising links before we share them can help us get better at writing atomic notes, and the busy people we share cool finds with will appreciate us honouring their time.

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Ellane W

Designer and educational publisher for 30 years+. Plain-text advocate. Still using paper, but less of it. https://linktr.ee/miscellaneplans