How To Remember What You Read

How To Remember What You Read

I’ve always been a highlighter. In college, I used to highlight most of every textbook I read, and “reviewing” for a test usually consisted of re-reading all the highlights the day before the test.

I typically read with a trusty yellow highlighter in hand, whenever I’m reading anything that’s not fiction. If I somehow manage to find myself without a highlighter, I’ll underline, bracket, and/or dog ear the daylights out of any book I’m reading. “This stuff is great – I definitely want to remember this!”

Once in a while, I’ll actually go back and re-read the highlights from a book that I’ve found particularly valuable, but I rarely re-read an entire book (well, sometimes, I’ve highlighted so much of it that I do essentially re-read it).

So, what do I do with all that valuable knowledge, that struck a chord with me when I first came upon it? Unfortunately, usually nothing. All those tidbits I just had to remember – sometimes even to the point of writing them on sticky notes to post on my computer – just faded away.

But not anymore! Now, I have a way to resurface all those juicy tidbits, to remind myself over and over. And it’s simple and easy.

These days, the vast majority of my reading is done on my trusty Kindle Paperwhite. How else can you carry around hundreds of books in your pocket, so you can read whatever you happen to be in the mood for? And, highlighting on my Kindle is quick and simple – tap, drag, click, I’m done!

Since Amazon is so nice as to save my highlights in the cloud, I can access them anytime, anywhere. Best of all, I’ve found an app that’ll deliver a handful of my favorite highlights to my inbox, every day. Now, I can rediscover my favorite passages as my daily reminders, and they’re not forgotten. The most important learnings from all my readings are presented to me, to inspire me all over again. By far my favorite part of checking my inbox every day is rediscovering these gems I’ve highlighted over the past.

Another cool feature is that I can “favorite” the best of my best highlights with a single mouse click, right in the email, so they’ll show up more frequently. Just as easily, I can discard the ones that don’t resonate with me the way they did initially.

If I need more context to recall the gist of the highlight, with a single click, I can open the Kindle app, and the book opens at the exact passage I highlighted, so I can read more.

Of all the tools I use every day, Readwise is one of the most useful, enjoyable, and inspirational tools I’ve ever come across.

Setting it up is a snap. I just signed up for the Readwise app, connected it to my Kindle account, and it automatically syncs all my highlights, every night.

I can choose which books I want to appear in my daily email, too. For instance, I wouldn’t want highlights from a travel book to show up in my email, so I turn off the sync for that book.

Now, every day, I get re-inspired by the many awesome ideas and quotes I’ve come across over time. Too cool! Give Readwise a spin – you’ll get a 60-day free trial.