How I Read Books, Remember Stuff And Write Blogs — My 3-Step Workflow
Here is my process of reading, retention, and writing that has enhanced productivity.
My memories down the lane.
It happened back in India, and I recall the year was 1976 if I remember correctly.
Every Saturday, my Dad would take us out for a weekly outing for dining, shopping, and a movie night, since his medical practice had an off day. My sister and I used to look forward to this weekend and every weekend because it meant dinner and a getaway.
My first stint in reading was with my parents.
We also visited Hobby Corner (a book store) every Saturday, where we used to hire magazines, comics, and books for the following week to read. Not sure if this store still exists, with the prevalence of the Amazons, Kindles, and Audibles.
My range of reading and knowledge acquisition on fiction and non-fiction varied as I grew up and ranged from comics like Superman, Batman, Phantom, Mandrake & Lothar, Archies to thrillers from Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, James Hadley Chase to autobiographies of Mahatma Gandhi and so on. A few of the movies that left an indelible mark in my mind and worth mentioning are — The Poseidon Adventure, Where Eagles Dare, Juggernaut, Hatari, Pappilon, and all movies of James Bond.
As a consequence, I was encouraged to develop my reading habits and I enjoyed everything I read. Unfortunately, the only time I took notes was while studying. I never thought about writing down my thoughts on a comic, a book, or even a movie — I wish I had when I was a kid.
Anyways, no qualms about it, and now the times have changed, the world has become more digital and the educational process has evolved too.
My Reading, learning, and writing workflow — The 3R formula.
So, today and since the last couple of years, the way I read, write and create summaries of my reads has changed drastically. I have developed a process that I would like to share with my fellow readers here.
Let’s go over it.
Step 1 — Read.
The first and foremost step (as we all do) to start reading. My reading includes from various different sources like, physical books and magazines, Amazon Kindle, Apple Books and from the web.
As I am reading, I highlight the interesting snippets or sentences that I feel are worth retaining and remembering.
The way I highlight is simple — use highlighter to highlight the relevant areas on my physical reads. But, for all electronic media, I use a tool called Liner that works really well for me. Liner is a FREE tool and can be used to highlight on the web and PDF’s very easily. They have a chrome browser that makes this possible. I simply love it.
If I am on my Kindle or Apple Books, I am always highlighting the different segments of my reads using their in built features.
Until now, the challenge has been that all these highlights were existing in “silo” and I had to go to all my sources individually until I found step#2
Step 2 — Review & Retain.
Lately, I have started using Readwise that integrates with multiple platforms like Amazon, Apple, Good Reads. With this integration, all my highlights reside at one place within Readwise.
Checkout this Readwise Tutorial on Youtube.
Readwise assists me in reviewing and retaining all my highlights at one single place and this great tool has an outgoing integration with note-taking apps like Notion and Evernote also — where all my highlighted notes are retained and creates a great convenience for me.
Step 3 — Reproduce
Once all the captures and highlights from my reads are in Evernote (which works seamlessly), I start writing my blogs, articles, newsletters and scripts for my youtube channel (Nextgen Digital).
That’s all for today — do let me know if you agree with the above process or are following any other workflow for yourself to write your stories and staying productive.