My reading used to involve just picking up a book, and then you know, reading it. When finished I would move on to the next one. Repeat. The problem is, I could never remember what I read. I wasn’t transferring what I learned, into real world value. If that’s the case, then what’s the point?
Progressive summarisation is a proven technique to remember what you read. I have built a workflow around this concept. I now get a lot more value from reading books.
- When I read, I take highlights. A kindle makes this very convenient. If reading from a print book I will scribble on the page and fold the page corner over to mark it.
- Once I have finished, I copy the highlights over to my digital system. I use Evernote. This is a manual process with print books. Using ‘bookcision‘, i copy/paste them out of the kindle highlights webpage. I also run the service https://secondbrainsync.com.
- I comb through the highlights, bold’ing text that resonates with me.
- I create a new section above the highlights, for my own notes. I then create a summary of the main points that distil the ‘gist’ of the book. See here for my booknotes.
- I create another section above, called ‘self guidance’. Here I write out the key take away’s that I want to apply to my own life. I constantly come back and review these.
I take a bit more time to do this, but its worth it. I remember more. I apply more. Building the system in my ‘digital brain’ makes it very easy to dip in, review and remember.
Along side, i take time to explain the key points of the book to another person. Teaching other peoples requires you to properly understand. Luckily, my girlfriend finds that interesting.
I mostly read non-fiction. I would’t do this for a novel.