Black Swans Threat Your Note-Writing Too

How to shield your writing process to prevent the unpredictable

Adolfo Ramírez Corona
6 min readDec 17, 2021


Your note-taking and writing are constantly at risk of Back Swans.

A Black Swan is a very unlikely event but highly catastrophic. Some catastrophic events are not extremely unlikely. We just think that they can’t happen because of some personal or professional bias, because we are too involved to judge, or because we underestimate the fragility of a system.

In a strict sense, the probability of a Back Swan event is so low that is virtually unpredictable. You don’t prepare for particular Black Swans. Acknowledge Black Swans is more like expecting the unexpected or knowing you can face the unknown.

Note-taking and writing look very simple that you don’t think about in taking preventive measures for unlikely events.

The problem starts because we don’t see note-taking and writing as complex processes. Being something we have done since elementary school makes it look, well, elemental.

Black Swans and unlikely events

Back Swans and unlikely events have been always a menace for writing but things have become deeper, wider, and faster these digital days.

Note-taking and writing have been always important in our modern lives but as with other old school practices, today it affronts the information overload and the variety of distractions we are in.

For example, you have some routine to take notes at work. You keep a traditional paper-based agenda to keep track of your activities and tasks during the day, plan ahead, and take notes from meetings, observations, and things to remember.

Everything looks good until you lose your agenda. Or maybe you just simply forget to take it to an important meeting. Or maybe an extraordinary but very important event happens without notice and you don’t have your notebook with you.

Sometimes the arrival of Black Swan is very subtle. You simply stopped taking notes one day and you didn’t notice the necessity to keep doing it. You remember everything, you can communicate without preparation, you can plan things in your mind.



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Adolfo Ramírez Corona

Author, psychotherapist, coach—Human behavior, UX, media & audiences—Father, husband, meditator—Courses & coaching:—More