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4 Simple Note-Taking Tips to Help You Remember What You Read from Books


Do you often jot down your idea or author's opinion in the book? Why do you do it? This is because you want to capture the interesting points in the book and preserve them, safeguarding them from potential loss.


As I mentioned in the previous post, this simple yet effective habit requires your brain to be more active, allowing the knowledge to survive longer than in the short-term memory. In this post, I share some tips and advice that allow you to improve your note-taking that helps you to transfer the information in books into your long-term memory effortlessly.


  • Tip 1: Let your brain do the work instead of creating a word wall



As beginners, many readers have a tendency to write down every single piece of the information in their notebook. While it may seem helpful at first, it can often end up being a waste of time when it comes to reviewing your notes.


It is important to remember that note-taking can't replace the brain's memory. It's a useful tool that helps your brain to recall knowledge faster. Look at the picture for an example. When you read a book, you jot down every single detail on paper. During this process, you paraphrase or copy words from the book into your paper by handwriting or typing. However, the correct method includes reading books, analyzing information, and then taking your own notes. This process involves three stages, the second stage requiring you to use your brain to think about what you should write.



  • Tip 2: Jot down what you don't understand.


It's very unusual when you don't clarify the points or extraordinary concepts mentioned in the book. Rather than skipping over them, it is important to highlight and jot them down in your note. The explanation for the point you don't understand could appear in the upcoming chapter. By letting the question on the page, you create space in your memory and trigger the brain to find the answer; therefore, you can easily explore interesting things in the book and recall information much longer when you completely grasp or comprehend. .


  • Tip 3: A picture is worth a thousand words


It is undoubtedly that our brain retains senses, plot, and characters in the films much longer than from books. This is because our eyes naturally capture visual excellence in movies. Our brain always prioritizes simple knowledge and information, making it easier for us to transform from sensory memory to short-term memory when we receive a visual presentation.


  • Tip 4: Step by step improve your note taking




Just like any other skill, note-taking can be improved with practice and dedication. You don't have to be an artist to create visual notes immediately after finishing a book. Start with a basic version of your notes and then work on managing, categorizing, and outlining them to make them better. This becomes your version 2. From there, you can continue to develop and enhance your notes using mind maps, flowcharts, or sketchnotes. This not only helps you to better understand and clarify the information, but it also leads to the creation of a better version 3. Keep repeating this process, and you'll see yourself constantly improving with versions 4, 5, and 6. Don't be afraid to share your thoughts and ideas on paper. You can even draw silly images to illustrate your opinions if it helps you better understand the information.


In summary, note-taking plays a vital role in enhancing the reading skills and memory retention of book enthusiasts. Some avid readers tend to transcribe entire passages from books, especially when they aim to review and establish connections between various concepts. Additionally, jotting down questions and newfound knowledge can stimulate our minds to generate ideas and establish links between different pieces of information. Furthermore, our memory tends to recall information and events conveyed through images more effectively than through words. Consequently, there is a need to continually refine our note-taking techniques, transforming them into visual presentations rather than mere collections of words. This not only aids in retaining details but also deeply engages our intellect and knowledge.


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