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I like to think I read a lot of books (you can follow my Goodreads profile to see all my past/current books). But a major problem I have is remembering key insights from those books and actually applying them to my life.
Over the years, I’ve discovered 2 methods for making this easier.
1 - Kindle Highlighting
I’ve been an evangelist for the Kindle since 2008, and credit it as being the 2nd most valuable thing I’ve ever bought (after the camera that started my YouTube channel). One of my favourite aspects of reading on the Kindle is that I can highlight anything that resonates with me. Over the past 11 years, I’ve built up a library of over 2,000 highlights from hundreds of books. I used to review these highlights occasionally using the Kindle app, but never did so with any regularity until I discovered…
2 - Readwise
Readwise (affiliate link) is probably the single most valuable app that I pay for across any of my devices. It’s an online service that connects to your Amazon account and automatically imports all your Kindle highlights. Every morning thereafter, it sends you an email with 5 random highlights from your library. Since September 2018, the daily Readwise email is one that I’ve read religiously. Each day, I stumble upon wisdom that I chose to highlight in a previous life, and often I come across highlights from my favourite books that are spookily relevant to what’s going on in my life.
Readwise can also sync your highlights for each book to Evernote - this is super helpful when I’m working on YouTube videos or blog posts. For example, let’s say I’m writing about productivity (as usual), I just do an Evernote search for the word ‘productivity’ and in addition to all my notes about it, it’ll find all my Kindle highlights containing the word too.
Finally, if you use Instapaper (as I now do) for saving articles to read later, you can highlight those articles and Readwise automatically syncs those highlights straight to Evernote as well.
If you don’t use a Kindle (your loss lol) or don’t have a lot of highlights, this won’t be of any use to you. But if you do, and you find like me that you’re reading a tonne of stuff but struggling to remember and apply it, this combination of Kindle highlights + Readwise is a superpower.