Taking notes requires a balance - Deepstash

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How to take notes while reading a book

Taking notes requires a balance

Taking notes requires a balance

It’s easier to take notes when we’re listening to content because our hands are free. But when reading a book, taking notes interrupts our reading flow.

There is a balance between taking too many notes - and reading too slowly- and too few notes which prevent us from capturing enough knowledge from the book.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Note-taking: a powerful tool for learning
  • Notes extend your memories: writing can be seen as an external enhancement of your brain, allowing you to think more complicated thoughts and solve harder problems.
  • Not...
Figure out your purpose

Ask yourself why are you reading:

  • What am I trying to remember? 
  • How am I going to use this information? (e.g. on a test, cited in an essay, etc.)
  • What do I plan to do with the notes later? Will you be studying off of them extensively? Or maybe you’re just taking notes to stay focused, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll look through them after?
Strategies for note-taking
  • Jot notes in the margin. These aren’t particularly searchable, but they allow you to reiterate the main idea.
  • Keep a small notepad on the side, take breaks each section to jot down the main ideas. 
  • Create flashcards. In the rarer situations where memorization of details is important, then a simple strategy can be to just create flashcards while you take notes. 
A reading log
A reading log

A reading log is a place to write down your reactions to what you're reading.

Doing this will allow you to gain insight into the theme and plot, will help you understand wha...

How to Keep a Reading Journal

Start by writing down your immediate reactions as you read through the book.

  • How do your impressions change halfway through the book?
  • How do you feel after finishing the book?
  • What emotions did the book evoke?
  • Are there connections between the book and your own experience?
  • Does the book similar in part to another book you've read?
Characters in the Book

Write about the characters, considering these questions:

  • Which character do you like the most? Why?
  • Is there a character you dislike? Why?
  • Do you think that any of the characters represent real people?
  • Do any of the characters represent general personality types?
  • Is the author commenting on these types of people?
Meta-Learning

It's knowing how to learn. Learning itself is a skill, and knowing how to do it well is an incredibly valuable advantage.

Merely acquiring information is not learning....

Learning has 2 phases

Learning is a two-step process:

  • Read/listen: feeding ourselves new information.
  • Process and recall what you’ve just ‘learned’: connecting new materials to what we already knew.
Remembering the right things

You should not waste your time by committing unimportant details to memory. 

Your focus should be on understanding the bigger picture, on how things relate to each other.