Taking notes when your sole goal is learning

Ha! That was a typo.

For me, I have always used MindMaps. I still have maps now almost 30 years old that I can still read and understand. In a way, the old maps are better, because they are on paper (A3 sized) and contain small drawings and illustrations that jog my memory and associations.

Currently, I’m mostly in MindNode. Here I also embellish with relevant icons, images and emojis to add visual cues in addition to the textual. The more time you put into a map, the more valuable it will become, and can also retain it’s value over time.

Guess it’s just a matter of personal preference. A mind map is basically an outline, but with a different layout. I do like the fact that I can easily connect nodes to each other, outside of the tree structure though.


I work in the book industry so am constantly reading. I am a huge user of Readwise --This TINY startup is really starting to do SO much – You asked what tools we use and I highly recommend this tool!! www.readwise.io

It’s a pricey yearly subscription that I’m happy to pay (joined when they first started maybe 3 yrs ago now.) It synchs to & saves all your Kindle, iBook highlights, plus a huge list of other inputs (Instapaper, PDFs, etc) & allows you to tag highlights (Gracchi Bros) and also type in your “marginalia-type” notes of your own (I call those my “a-has” – so I can remember why I thought that highlight was pertinent to my life).

– NOW their BRAND-NEW iPhone app now allows you to hover the iPhone camera over a page of a paper book, capture it, highlight a passage and add the highlighted section to your Readwise–huge breakthrough for me to get my paper book a-ha’s into the system!

AND I just found out they have auto-exporting feature to Evernote, Notion and Roam, that’ll create 1 note per book with all your highlights (noted & tagged) from that book. AND if you add more highlights to that book in future it’ll append them to the existing note for that book. So now your highlights will be searchable in your reference tool, esp if you added tags that’ll lump book highlights together by tag. – moving these to Evernote is really a gamechanger so I don’t have to open Readwise to look at my book notes anymore… that was friction for me.

Oh, I didn’t even mention Readwise sends a daily email (if u want it) of random highlights from your collection as a “spaced repetition” type learning / jogging your memory about all those books you read & kinda forget what you learned. - You can review 2-3 highlights per day (you set the number)…just for fun and to keep your knowledge base alive in your mind.


I love Readwise!
I have a summary of notes sent to me everyday before I wake up.
So far I’m 281 days into my reading streak.


I love to listen to books, even books that I want to learn from, so taking notes, highlighting, quoting, etc, seems to really amp up the challenge. It does help because then I am forced to paraphrase more (better for comprehension), but quoting a sentence or something later requires some work.

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How do you take notes when listening to an audiobook? Audible has the option to put notes in the app, but I’ve never found that too convenient. I ended up putting Drafts on triple back-tap and just type.


Sometimes the Kindle book comes with a full audio companion for an extra fee. Kinda the best of the two worlds, imo. As a slow reader, audio books are good for me, and seeing the text highlighted as the narrator reads also helps me retain more. I can then highlight passages for later reference, which is hard (impossible?) in pure Audible titles.

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It is the best when you can have both options at once. I have even used the voice over feature to accomplish something similar. It’s kind of dry at times, and not as dynamic as an audible book, but it does help for a first pass through.

Drafts helps me take some quick notes. I do like the audio clip in Audible where I can add written notes.

I have found that listening actually helps me to stop from highlighting ever amazing pull quotes. If I read, I highlight pull quotes and not always complete ideas.

THANK YOU so much for this. I had no idea this was added. I keep a paper notebook to consolidate my notes and will keep doing that. But this change means I can put them in my Readwise, too! Amazing!

Most of the times Kindle Book with Audio sync is same price as Audible. Why would I buy just the Audible. I always check the prices for both and the make a decision.

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If you buy the books, HOPEFULLY, you won’t have that problem!