If you love reading a book, there must be a time when it frustrates you when you tend to forget something you’ve read. We spent energy and time reading that book just for it to be forgotten, how suck is that? I’ve been there too and now I want to share how I prevent that problem.
Please keep in mind that I’m using Kindle for reading books, however you can modify my methods and adapt it to your use-case.
The actions will be broken down into four steps:
- Summarizing and Writing (optional)
- Daily Highlights from Readwise
- Explaining (optional)
The first thing is highlighting, it might be obvious but it’s an important step. You want to filter out the things you want to remember, so highlighting important points will help you to achieve that.
You don’t need to be strictly selective in this step, just highlight all the things that you kinda-feel want to remember. You don’t want to think that hard about what you want to capture, better focus more on enjoying the reading process. Take it easy and enjoy your reading.
B. Summarize and Write
Now it’s the time to be strictly selective. All of your highlighted points are still pseudo-raw when it comes to something that you REALLY want to remember.
The good thing about using Kindle is we can export all of our highlights from the book to a pdf file, which will be sent by Amazon via email.
If you’re reading with physical books, you might need to re-visit the page manually, but still, in my opinion, it’s still worth the effort.
My way of summarizing is to write (typing) manually all of the highlights that were already strictly selected before. If you want it to be more effective, use your own words instead of from the book. Talking from experience, it will be much more effective that way (I believe there’s already a study for this, but I forgot where I found it).
Make a summarization using own own words is inspired by Tiago Forte’s Progressive Summarization method.
My summarization-writing process looks something like this:
For your information, I’m using an app called RemNote to write my summarization (sometimes on Notion), I love it but it’s not mandatory. You can use your own favorite note app, something like Notion or even Apple Notes.
C. Daily Highlights from Readwise
What is Readwise? Readwise is a paid service that can synchronize all of your highlights (not just from Kindle, but other platforms as well, like Medium) and help us to revisit and remember all of them. If you have some bucks to spare, I definitely recommend using Readwise.
They offer a free trial option, so you can just try it and decide whether it’s worth the money or not. I’m also still on the free trial (it might be over when this article is posted), but I can see myself continuing later on.
You can imagine how helpful it is to get daily highlights like that, it’s also a much better way to capture information rather than mindless scrolling on social media, isn’t it?
Readwise also just released an amazing app called Readwise Reader. I might get into this later with a different post, so make sure to follow me in case you’re interested. It’s a game-changer reading app, the best I’ve used so far.
Richard Feynmann (one of the greatest world physicists) once said:
If you cannot explain something in simple terms, you don’t understand it
The key to remembering things is to understand them. If you manage to understand, you can’t help but remember it, even for a long-time period. If you don’t have someone to explain to, just use imaginary audiences (I did it, and it works. No more excuses 🙂)
I do some breakdown of what benefits I gain from explaining practice using the book’s summarization:
- Improve public speaking skills
- It increases my understanding of the book
- And, saying it out loud makes me aware sometimes I don’t fully understand the certain content of the book if I just read it
Explaining is more powerful than just reading it again and again. Hence, makes it harder for us to forget about it.
These four steps might be too much for most people, but I make them purely based on my personal needs and interest. I love writing and at the same time, I want to improve my public speaking skills.
But, if I have to suggest a simpler/easier way to do it, I’m pretty sure these two steps below are more than enough.
- Daily Highlights from Readwise
If you love reading books and currently don’t have a Kindle, please kindly buy one asap. Kindle is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made in my life and I don’t think you will regret buying it.
That’s it! In case you’re interested, I also provide my highlights and summary from the books I’ve read in the form of Notion template.
Thank you for reading and any kind of feedback will be so much appreciated 🙏🏻