The Brutal Truth About Reading: If You Don’t Take Notes Right, You’ll Forget Nearly Everything

Tara H

Hatched by Tara H

May 07, 2024

3 min read


The Brutal Truth About Reading: If You Don’t Take Notes Right, You’ll Forget Nearly Everything

Every day I learn something new about Notion. Nobody knows everything about something. The brutal reality was I had wasted thousands of hours.

Reading is a fundamental skill that we learn at a young age. From the moment we start decoding words on a page, we are exposed to new ideas, perspectives, and knowledge. However, as we grow older, we often realize that we have forgotten almost everything we have read. The brutal truth is that if we don't take notes right, we'll forget nearly everything.

But is it really a waste if you enjoyed reading the things? Especially if it's fiction or something you were reading for a very specific purpose that's now ended. The answer to this question lies in the value we derive from reading. While reading for enjoyment is undoubtedly important, the true power of reading lies in its ability to expand our minds, challenge our beliefs, and help us grow as individuals. If we forget what we read, we are missing out on the transformative potential that reading offers.

One tool that has gained popularity in recent years for effective note-taking is Notion. Notion is a versatile workspace that allows users to organize their thoughts, ideas, and information in a systematic manner. It provides a platform for creating and maintaining a personal knowledge base, making it easier to retain and recall information.

However, even with the aid of such tools, nobody knows everything about something. You can be an expert in something and still find out new things. Just like how authors often have people come up with interpretations of their text that they had not thought of before. This highlights the ever-evolving nature of knowledge and the importance of continuous learning.

So, how can we make the most out of our reading experience and ensure that we retain the valuable information we come across? Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Take purposeful notes: When reading, it's crucial to take purposeful notes that capture the key points, insights, and ideas. Instead of mindlessly highlighting or underlining text, focus on summarizing the main arguments, jotting down questions that arise, and connecting the content to your existing knowledge. This active engagement with the material will enhance your understanding and retention.
  • 2. Create a personal knowledge base: Utilize tools like Notion to create a personal knowledge base where you can store and organize the information you come across. Categorize your notes, add tags, and create interconnected pages that allow for easy navigation and retrieval. By building a comprehensive repository of knowledge, you can refer back to your notes whenever you need to refresh your memory or delve deeper into a particular topic.
  • 3. Review and revisit your notes regularly: Consistent review is key to retaining information in the long term. Set aside dedicated time to review your notes and revisit the ideas and concepts you have learned. This periodic reinforcement will strengthen your memory and help solidify the knowledge in your mind. Consider creating a review schedule or incorporating spaced repetition techniques to optimize your learning and retention.

In conclusion, reading is a powerful tool for personal growth and intellectual development. However, if we don't take notes right, we risk forgetting nearly everything we read. By adopting purposeful note-taking strategies, utilizing tools like Notion, and regularly reviewing our notes, we can maximize the value we derive from our reading experiences. Remember, the true power of reading lies not just in the act of reading itself but in the lasting impact it has on our minds and lives.

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