Book Reading/Notes Workflow

hey MPU,

I was wondering if someone can offer some advice on this topic based on their experience. When reading a book, I would underline or put post-it notes, with whatever topic or item for reference. Of course, the problem is after years of accumulating books, trying to recall which book has which topic can be exhausting.

My thoughts are this (for new books I read, I will deal with the old ones when I get to them).

Planning on potentially using Ulysses, (I have DT, Craft, and Obsidian). Haven’t really been able to jump into Obsidian.

In Ulysses, a folder called “Book Notes”. Each Sheet is the name of a book that I am reading. Either 1) As I am reading, I would just type up whatever I have underlined that is significant to me (make it into an OF project) or 2) When the book is completed (might be difficult if I jump around), then do all the typing.

The notes would just contain either themes, quotes, passages I underlined from the book.

It’s a repetitive process, but I haven’t been able to think of another way around this.


So I think your system could work well. It mirrors my paper-based process. I do almost the same thing, only in a notebook. I capture the book title, author, date read, and notes (and I tied the notes to page numbers). In the book itself, I underline/fold over the page corners if it’s a physical book, or I do the highlights if it’s a Kindle book.

At the end of my notebook, I will likely scan all the pages just in case the notebook gets lost/destroyed somehow.

I had thought about typing notes into Notes, but haven’t decided yet.

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I use Obsidian, but this can be used in any note taking app. I have a note for the book. I create a heading for each chapter. After I finish reading a chapter, I will go back and review any underlined passages in the book and then summarize the chapter in my own words. Putting it in your own words is key for actually digesting and remembering what you read. If you just copy verbatim then it isn’t as effective.


There is an App to take a picture of a post-it, and work with this note in a digitalized version.
Maybe this could be interesting for your workflow?

This may not help directly but may trigger some thoughts and ideas (I hope so anyway).

I am following a similar approach to you @FrMichaelFanous with my book reading so very interested in other ideas.