David mentions -
- Reading is as much about sparking ideas as it is about consuming information.
- Your notes should be lightweight enough to write them consistently, but evergreen enough to stay relevant.
- Digital note-taking makes your reading time more productive by making your thoughts searchable but with a price.
- apps like Kindle, Pocket, and Instapaper make highlighting too easy and don’t encourage people to write about what they’re consuming. Too many readers end up with a long list of highlights they never actually return to.
- Raise the difficulty of saving ideas and the productivity of reading by writing a short note about everything you highlight. Be selective about what you keep. Don’t just write a summary. Write about why each idea resonated with you and how it relates to what you’re working on.
Everybody wants to read more. It's just our intellectual curiosity that thrives us to read. In order to fulfill that curiosity, reading lots of books isn't going to be enough. You can take a lot of information in but hardly bring out the best of it. This is what David Perell wants us to focus more on:
Highlighting lines or impactful notes on digital note-taking apps are not enough - We need to be writing our thoughts on those highlights inculcating the learnings or reflections from the highlight. Not too long for it to be an article in itself. Write simple lines of why this particular highlight and build on top of it with 2-3 sentences.
Notes are the best way to recollect our memory regarding the entire incident. Just like photos can bring us the feeling, the taste, and the views of a location. written notes including why we highlighted the section will replicate the exact feeling we experience, while we were reading it.
This way you actually have an idea from where to start writing the article. This will take a long time to build but once you found the ever-green notes you have built to share insights your writing will be much better.
There are a few things that can enhance your writing while note-taking i.e. writing faster, keeping all the notes in place, and distilling books a lot faster.
In keeping all the notes in one place Tiago Forte, who has a course on Building a second brain for Leaders, creators, and Entrepreneurs, has a video explaining how he captures, organizes, and shares ideas and highlights.
In order to distill more books, there is an amazing video by Tim Ferris, the author of the most influential book - The 4 Hour Work Week.
This one addition to your note-taking will improve your writing and also your knowledge consumption in a drastic way. I have been writing Book notes that are my distilled notes on the Books that I genuinely enjoyed reading listening to.
- Build your notes sharing points on why you highlighted the notes(write about what made you highlight the particular note.)
- Keep it all in one place.
- Your notes should be lightweight enough to write them consistently.
For more of Perell's work, visit David Perell and find his incredible essays to read. You can signup for the 50 Days of Writing Course by clicking and signing up to receive one mail every day with an amazing take on writing.