Build a tailored, mindful note taking system using the Calmer Notes method.

The Calmer Notes framework is a step-by-step process for creating a personalized system to organize your notes and files.


It's time to find a new way to work.

You're a smart, creative professional working on interesting projects. And you have more ideas than you know what to do with.

You have notes and ideas and research outlines and PDFs and emails scattered across an overwhelming multitude of apps on your laptop, your work PC, and your phone.Never mind the countless productivity and note-taking web apps you've signed up for then eventually abandoned to leave with virtual cobwebs collecting.Google Docs, Evernote, Notion, Obsidian, Roam Research, Bear Notes, One Note... You know you have some wonderful ideas tucked away in all those apps, too, but you can't figure out where you saved them.


Does this sound familiar?

You might feel like personal knowledge management sounds good in theory... but it hasn't quite worked out in practice so far.

  • You have notes scattered across your work computer, home laptop, iPad, iPhone, plus a bunch saved in different cloud apps– with no way to easily browse or search them

  • You've got more than one project on the go and feel like you take up way too much time shifting back and forth between projects

  • You worry that important ideas are going to fall through the cracks soon

  • You've tried ten different ways of organizing your notes– and now you're stuck with a hodge-podge of different note taking systems and apps

  • You spend way too much time reinventing the wheel and searching through your files because you can't find where you saved important ideas

  • You're feeling overwhelmed, tired, and frustrated by your note taking workflow

  • You wish you had a system (like GTD for note taking) to finally organize your notes once and for all


You don't have time to spend searching down rabbit-holes.

Your time is too precious to waste on searching for lost ideas and information.

You've spent too many lunch hours and late evenings fruitlessly searching Google and browsing Reddit threads for ideas on how to finally organize your files and notes.You're tired of spending your time watching productivity YouTube channels, reading Twitter conversations, clicking through Pinterest pins, and browsing random online forums trying to find the perfect way to organize your notes and ideas.You're ready to create a customized personal knowledge management system to finally organize your notes once and for all.


You need a more sustainable way to organize your digital notes.

Imagine if you could:

  • Quickly and easily find any note you've ever taken.

  • Build on that half-remembered idea from a few months ago in a few clicks.

  • Easily capture your ideas on the go (and be able to find them again instead of letting them sink into the black hole of your phone).

  • Create a living database of articles, ideas, and documents that you can build on to find and develop new connections.

  • Organize your thoughts and ideas to gain clarity and save time, both at home and at work.


Buy the Calmer Notes self-paced course. Start crafting a note taking system you love today.



Calmer Notes for personal knowledge management (PKM)

Calmer Notes is a minimalist, simplified approach to personal knowledge management.

Hello, friends! I’m Elizabeth Butler, a physician, researcher, and working parent.I've spent years figuring out the best ways to manage the overwhelm of digital notes, documents, and information flow.I designed the Calmer Notes method to help busy, creative people craft tailored personal knowledge management (PKM) systems that truly fit their life.With Calmer Notes, you'll follow a step-by-step method to create a streamlined system for organizing your ideas, notes, and documents-- so you can feel more clear, creative, and calm in your professional and personal life.

You'll discover...

  • What personal knowledge management (PKM) means -- and why busy people need a PKM system to stop feeling overwhelmed

  • How to identify the existing pieces of your PKM system

  • How to choose the right note-taking app that actually works for you (instead of switching apps every few months)

  • How to design and create a personal knowledge management system that works for the reality of your right-now life

  • High-yield personal knowledge management strategies I've used to help me complete a PhD, an MD, and work as a physician while parenting


Discover what you'll learn in the Calmer Notes course...


Start where you are

You won't discard your years of previous hard work. You'll analyze what's working in your current setup. Then you'll identify precisely how and where you can iterate and improve your new system.


Define your destination

You're not the same person as your friends or colleagues (or the people you follow on Twitter). So why should your personal knowledge management setup be the same cookie cutter solution?In this step, you'll get clear and practical on your goals, needs, and constraints. You'll figure out what you need to create a personalized system that actually fits your life.


Draft your blueprint

You'll get practical on what types of knowledge you need to organize and design the methodology you'll use to organize it. You'll get clarity on the features that are essential to your success (and which are just nice to have).This blueprint will help you mindfully select your targeted, curated list of software in the next step.


Choose your apps

Using your blueprint from the previous module, you'll mindfully and efficiently choose software and apps that support your individual, considered PKM goals.You won't feel distracted by the latest and greatest bright-shiny-object. And you won't feel compelled to start over with a new app every week when you've chosen a tech stack that truly meets your priorities.


Design your library

This is where everything comes together. You will solidify your mindfully-crafted personal knowledge management system. You'll choose a cataloguing system and method that works for you (and matches how your mind works). Then you will start putting your chosen apps to use.


Maintain your system

You'll design and implement an ongoing, sustainable routine of habits (that fits your real life) to keep your system up-to-date.You'll figure out how to integrate a five-step method for ongoing system curation into your schedule.

“Calmer Notes is a super resource for anybody who wants to get into personal knowledge management, focus on goals, identify where your information and notes are scattered, and choose the right PKM tool for your needs...”



The Calmer Notes method has helped these students build a note-taking system that fits their lives...


When you buy the Calmer Notes self-paced course, you'll get...

Digital textbook

High-yield, beautifully designed, minimalist, informative digital textbook.Provided in PDF and EPUB format.

You're a busy person– you don't have time to sit through fluffy videos and tedious screencasts. I don't want you to waste your time impatiently fast-forwarding to find the parts you're actually looking for.The Calmer Notes digital textbook is mindfully designed to help you get right to the good stuff– and easily refer to it again in the future.

Companion workbook

Available in Markdown (perfect for importing into Notion or Obsidian) and Word (DOC) file.

The Calmer Notes digital course is designed to get you thinking, creating, and taking action.You'll get access to a guided, interactive workbook to help you craft and develop your own personalized PKM solution as you progress through the main textbook.

Database of note taking apps and software

Exclusive access to a database of hand-picked personal knowledge management software and apps.

Finding "the perfect app" won't fix your PKM challenges. But you also don't want to waste time wrestling with apps that don't actually meet your unique needs and goals.When you buy the Calmer Notes digital course, you'll get exclusive access to a hand-picked, carefully-selected, regularly-updated database of software and apps. Sort it by features and platforms so you can save time by building your PKM system on the right platform, from day one.

Flexible access everywhere

Multi-platform, flexible access wherever you are, in whatever format works best for you.

You don't have to limit your learning to times you can dedicate to sitting in front of a monitor.When you buy the material, you get PDF, EPUB, MD, and DOC files you can sync to any device you like. Access on the go whenever you have a spare moment.Save the course material and browse it on your phone, your tablet, your laptop, and your computer.

Learning that fits your schedule

Flexible, self-directed, asynchronous learning that fits your life and calendar.

You're a busy person. You can't schedule your busy life around live Zoom calls in a different time zone. Calmer Notes is designed so you can go through the material at your own pace, at a schedule that works for you.Want to do your own bootcamp in a single free weekend? No problem.Want to pace yourself with one step per week? Sounds good.You set the pace that fits your life.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the course cost?

The regular price of the Calmer Notes course is $500 USD.As an exclusive launch offer, I'm currently offering a limited number of course registrations at a discounted rate. The current discounted launch price of the course is $200 USD. As more people purchase the course, the price increases. This tiered pricing is a way to say thank you to my lovely early adopters.You can always see the most up-to-date pricing info for the course at the Gumroad checkout page.

Do you offer any discounts?

I'm currently offering a discounted, tiered launch pricing offer for the Calmer Notes course. This means that the price gradually increases as more and more students purchase the course. I selected this pricing model as a way to say thank-you to my kind early adopters.Since the tiered launch pricing already represents a discount from the regular price of the course, I'm not offering any further discounts at this time.

What do I get when I buy the course?

When you buy the course at Gumroad, you'll get instant access to:

  • The Calmer Notes digital textbook (in PDF and EPUB formats)

  • The companion workbook (in Markdown and DOC formats)

  • An organized directory of note-taking apps and software (in a Notion database)

Check out the full listing above for details of what's included with your course purchase.

Are there any videos included in the course?

Calmer Notes is intentionally designed to be a text-first learning experience.If you're someone who learns best from the written word and visual diagrams, you're going to love the text-first learning environment of Calmer Notes.Video seems to have become the default expectation for course formats these days. And for some courses, video instruction makes sense. But there are some significant benefits to text-first learning that often get overlooked:

  • Text is accessible. Text is simple to copy (then process and annotate) in your own personal knowledge management system. The deepest learning comes from not just passively consuming content, but actively engaging with it.

  • Text is portable and efficient. Text can be read anywhere, on any device (even with a slow internet connection, or offline entirely).

  • Reading is silent. No futzing around with headphones required. You learn and apply the material from the Calmer Notes course quietly, while waiting in line, while rocking a sleeping baby, while putting in time between appointments, or in a quiet house without waking up your family.

  • Text is easy to translate. I don't (yet) offer Calmer Notes in any other languages, but students are more than welcome to use Google Translate or similar to get the content in their preferred language.

  • Text is skimmable. It's easy to skim over headings, tables, and diagrams to review the key points and ideas of a chapter, before plunging into the content in earnest.

  • Text-based learning is respectful of your time, preferences, and learning goals. You can pick and choose what's most relevant for you now-- instead of skipping around and feeling increasingly irritated as you try to fast forward to the relevant portion of the video (then accidentally go past the part you're searching for).

I'm not ruling out the possibility of adding videos to the course down the road, but adding video is currently the bottom of the course development map.


Find a calmer approach to note taking.



Buy the Calmer Notes self-paced course. Start crafting a note taking system you love today.