In my more disciplined moments, I’ll read, reflect and digest the pertinent insights whilst making them accessible for those times when I need them at my fingertips. Here’s how…
Firstly, I’ll spend a good few minutes in the contents pages, REALLY trying to get my head around the arc of the narrative. If I can get my head around this structure it makes the components much easier to recall.
Secondly, I’ll have a highlighter to hand as I’m reading. Anything that piques my interest I’ll highlight and fold the page corner. This helps on two fronts, firstly it helps me quickly spot what was of interest and secondly I’ll be able to thumb back to it quickly. I used to just fold the page corners and then try and come back to those pages. The trouble was I’d then spend an age re-reading so much because I was trying to identify the sentence.
Finally, and this is the one I struggle with most. At the end of each book, I try to go back through and digitise the useful content into a space that I can easily come back to. For me, it’s Evernote. I’ll start with the contents page and then come back to each of the folded corners. It’s not the quickest process and one that’s very easy to want to come back to. However, this final piece of the jigsaw is the one with the most value.
Having this information available, not only makes it useful now but in years to come too. Imagine having a bank of content that you can draw upon at a moments notice, the value of this would be immense. However, the reward mechanisms and dopamine incentive is often a compelling option, especially in the moment.
As Matt, the founder of Form would say… “Always play the long game”.