Have you ever read a book that inspired you to take action, only to have your motivation fizzle out a few days later? Or maybe you tried to explain a concept you recently read about only to discover that you can’t recall more than a few vague ideas.
How to Remember What You Read
Perhaps books aren’t to blame, but rather, it’s how we read that makes learning inefficient. Reading for understanding is inherently flawed because it’s based on the faulty assumption that we learn by transmission—absorbing knowledge by reading words on a page.
If you really want to understand something, you can’t stop there. You need to see reading for what it really is: only the first step in a larger process. To get the most out of books, you need a system for transforming what you read into meaningful action and lasting insight. What you need is a reading workflow.
Like the books you choose to read, your reading workflow will ultimately be unique to you, but it can effectively be broken down into three steps:
If you’re a fan of Personal Knowledge Management, you’ll be pleased to know that all of your highlights can be automatically exported into Evernote, Notion, and Roam Research. Having all of your highlights sync automatically with your favorite knowledge management tool is a massive time-saver.
And while you could perform all of these steps manually, there is a tool specifically designed for improving every stage of your reading workflow.
It’s called Readwise, and it helps you get more out of what you read by resurfacing your most important ideas and creating repeated opportunities for you to use them.
Readwise is software built on top of existing reading platforms—such as Kindle, iBooks, and Instapaper—that allows you to capture all of your highlights for later review. While all of these reading platforms have a highlighting feature built-in, Readwise’s suite of features is designed to improve your entire reading workflow.
Readwise automatically syncs your highlights from a variety of sources such as eBooks, articles, PDFs, Twitter, Medium, podcasts (via Airr), and other apps like Liner, Pocket, Instapaper, and Hypothes.is.
You can also manually input highlights from physical books or other physical sources that might not have a digital copy.
Once synced, you can either browse your highlights by its source or use the search bar to search for a particular highlight by keyword or phrase. No more having to search for that one specific highlight by flipping through every page in a book or scrolling through that lengthy PDF ever again.
Readwise also has a native tagging feature for organizing your highlights around topics of interest or for creating more advanced filters for review. You can use tags to help you recall a passage’s content, reference a topic worth exploring, highlight good copy that you want to imitate, or select particular highlights that merit a specific review time.
Export to Evernote, Notion, & Roam Research
If you’re a fan of Personal Knowledge Management, you’ll be pleased to know that all of your highlights can be automatically exported into Evernote, Notion, and Roam Research.
Having all of your highlights sync automatically with your favorite knowledge management tool is a massive time-saver. Try out Readwise and you will love this tool.