There is a best first step in taking notes where research is involved. Read the material with an eye toward learning what it has to say. Sounds beyond simple, redundant even. The thing to keep in mind is to look for not only what is new, but also what is old. What part of it that is already known is important to the topic of the research? What of the known information and issues is important to the topic for which the research was undertaken? Is there such a distinction for the given project? Last time there were four articles listed that came up in a research session. Each one spawned notes about the article as can be seen at TechStop(TM). Those notes look at what appears to be important in the articles that can be put to use in a plot or a setting. That is their goal.
The kinds of notes available at TechStop show details of interest, point out useful concepts, and via the tags leave a trail to return to the note at a later time. The tags lead to other articles and notes on the same topic with the same focus. There is one other thing those notes do. They make connections between themselves as shown by the shared title words, similarly connected ideas, and overlap in tags. More important to this discussion, they spawn additional notes. Articles 1 and 2 have private sub-notes with just reference numbers like Ref#6. Situated above the articles is a link to a public note titled Deeper TS-Ref#1, regarding all four articles. This deeper look is another note pointing out details and asking questions. It is also a jump point for yet more notes, and soon, tags.