How I track my coding learning progress

I used to be a fan of notebooks. I was addicted to buying stationery I would never use. I still kind of am, but I haven’t bought stationary in months since the covid-19 pandemic. I loved having options to express myself and learn at the same time by applying different methods.

It seems redundant but writing notes on paper, then on the computer, and then simplified on a document for study purposes works the best for me. Back in University, people loved borrowing my pre-exam notes in a neatly organized folio just before entering to take the test. We all studied, but the simplicity made it so we could easily refresh our knowledge minutes before the test. Well, they did. I am also an advocate to relax for 15 minutes before the test so your brain is at its maximum capacity to function. But it was fun to create them and useful to many.

With so much technology nowadays, it is a hard habit to keep. There is so much distraction and in my case with a two-year-old, so little time, that I needed to think smart. Having notebooks and stationery lying around does not help. I also do no have my own desk space to keep them all organized. So being efficient meant keeping all my things to two devices: the computer and the phone.

As I begin this journey, I want to track how much time it takes me and hopefully help others who want to also begin some self-learning path of their own. I want to also keep track of what comes easy and what needs more time.

For this, I am using Airtable.

What I love about it, is that I can add different views and also attachments. Kind of like a notebook/database/board (all in one!). I gave each tab a subject, in case some take me more than others. Time tracking what I learn forces me to focus and make the best of the 15 minutes I have to spare here and there. There is even an app to track the time as I work on a subject and automatically log it! If at the end of the day I have 1 hour total of deep focus learning, I feel accomplished. From Monday through Thursday the plan is to do 3 hours a day.

It took me a while to decide on this service as most I found were paid. And Trello, though I love, I don’t like the greyish style… it feels boring. I like to be able to manipulate how things look to keep me happy working with them. That is why I love Airtable.

Notion is another beauty. I began the Airtable data on Notion but it was messy. For notetaking, it is AMAZING. Especially if you are learning to code. The “/code” feature is the best one ever. I can choose which code I am learning about and it will format accordingly, which allows me to study it with more clarity.

In the end, if I have a lot of important notes (this depends on the subject’s difficulty) I can also print it out as PDF and add it to the Airtable for reference later. This allows me to do my 3 step note-taking process for better absorption of the information.

  • All the notes I think relevant on Notion
  • Summary on Airtable
  • Check if the information is worth keeping and make a nice document to attach to Airtable

Next week I have a lot planned and I can’t wait!

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