Improving and retaining the knowledge and information from what you read with less hassle.

Over the last few years I had set myself the target of reading more, there were several reasons for this, with the main one being to help myself grow, become a better writer and marketer.

The one thing I have always struggled with was retaining what I had just read, the second you go on to start a new book, it seems to push everything out from what I had read previously.

Over the last few months, I have come across many helpful books, articles, and videos, that have started to improve how I have retained what I have just read, and have started to make me a better writer.

I hope if like me, you are currently struggling to remember what you have read, the points below will be able to help you as well.

To summarise this is what I have learned so far:

  1. Put what you have learned into action
  2. Take notes
  3. Highlight interesting sections as you read them
  4. Make taking notes easier

Now let’s dig a little deeper especially into points 1 and 4, and how you can put what you have learned into action and making your note-taking easier.

Putting what you have learned into action

Luckily the internet is filled with great advice, and the first thing you can do to help remember what you have just read or learned is by putting it into action.

Say for example you are reading a marketing book around communication and come across an interesting point within a chapter, try to put what you have just read into practice within the next few weeks at work.

Make taking notes easier

Over the last year, I have been reading a lot more books on my Kindle, especially when it comes to reading at night or when out on a holiday it is just easier, as well as being a lot more portable than trying to squeeze in a few books on top of your suitcase!

Now I do still love reading a real physical book, and I would argue that it is hard to beat, that being said the kindle just makes it easier, and the easier you make reading, the more likely you are to keep at it.

Kindle Highlights, Readwise, and Notion. The three musketeers assembled

Note-taking on most kindle devices is pretty straightforward, you hold in and can drag and drop over a particular sentence or paragraph that is interesting to you. The problem I had was I rarely looked back at my highlights and having to manually add back into Notion was time-consuming and ended up just being left.

This is where Readwise comes into the equation, it’s an app that connects to your kindle and can automatically add all of your kindle highlights and add directly into your Notion account.

For anyone not using Notion, it can also connect to other apps such as Evernote, and what is even better, you can connect it to your Medium account, so every article you highlight can get added to your Notion account as well.

Not only that, yes there is more! Readwise will send you 5 random highlights by email each day, which can be a great place to inspire your next article or post.

If you are currently using Notion and read a lot of articles on Medium and books on your Kindle, then I would highly recommend checking out Readwise. It has made note-taking from reading so much simpler and I have already started to see the value.

Other great Notion templates for book lovers

For anyone using Notion, I also wanted to share one of my favorite templates for note-taking around books. Ali Abdaals book notes template which you can use for free from this link.

Alongside using basic note-taking templates and pages within Notion, this template has been at least to date life-changing for me. It is simple to use and has a great pre-made template to make it easier to take structured notes after reading your next book.

I only wish I had found this sooner!

Credit and inspiration for this post go to both Ali Abdaal (source) and Maneetpaul Singh (source). I would highly recommend checking out both of their videos in the links above.




Marketing learnings, advice, gaming, productivity, and more, focused around helping you to grow. Father and Lover of video games, marketing and vinyl's.

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Matt Kennedy

Matt Kennedy

Marketing learnings, advice, gaming, productivity, and more, focused around helping you to grow. Father and Lover of video games, marketing and vinyl's.

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