Documenting Learnings

In the last couple of months, I faced the issue of not properly remembering the concepts, ideas or just anything which I encounter on books or the web. And such a minuscule problem turned out to be a big blunder a month ago when I wasn’t really able to explain the concept to a friend from an HBS article I had read.
So, the urgency siren hit off and I contemplated on this problem and how to improve the efficiency of retaining the learnings from reading.
The first noticeable thing was that it’s not some new problem. I have been facing it since my college days but now it is troubling me tremendously. So, what changed in these last few years ?

  • Increase in the depth of reading while prioritizing on the breadth – reading in-depth according to the topics of my interest
  • Discussions are more about understanding the core issue rather than “know it all” mindset
  • Connecting different principles and concepts to draw new insights

Finally, I got a solution that is working fine as of now.
I save every interesting website I come across on notion and categorize it. Most of these websites are like resources that I can refer to in case I am working related to it like design, startup articles, etc. It looks something like this –

Secondly, I note down every new concept, principle, quote, book summary I read in my own words. Noting it down in my own words helps in two ways – you know exactly how much you understood about the topic and you can refer to everything every time you add new notes.

This idea isn’t mine, I read it on Twitter. I just tweaked it to suit my way of doing things.

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