Loved the podcast - although I typically am one of those who consider paper books sacred and not to be marked.  I'm working through this now... 

What have people experienced typing notes in Kindles?  You gain the note, but lose memory cues associated with writing.  Has anyone found this matters?

As electronic books change the way I read and think about books, I realize that I won't much longer have the experience of remembering the Seth Godin comment was early in the book, on the left page near the bottom...

GlennR's picture

I generally purchase my biz books for my Kindle. I made the decision to do that based upon a remark made in another thread about the ability to highlight text and export it as a doc to my computer. I am not happy with the formatting of the doc, but I can live with it. As for typing notes, I don't do it. Too slow.

However, I prefer the Kindle highlighting to my old-fashioned "highlight a sentence, write the page number and keyword on the inside fly paper of the book, " technique.

markibison's picture

I need help here!

I have a real unease with the way I read and take notes.  I love to read, get lots of inspiration from reading but don't often follow through with the stuff in there, largely because my note-taking and organisation is so onerous (and therefore I rarely get round to doing anything).  I need to either find a better way, or make some peace with the fact that I'm just not going to have many notes to refer back to.

My priority is reading lots, and somehow storing the good ideas that come from them.  I want a place i can go to reference (without going back to the book), some very clear key actions, and something quick that lets me read more.

Here's what I do (applies to Kindle books or paper books): read a book, highlight anything of interest, make notes where relevant and then dog-ear the page.  In theory (rarely happens), I then go back to the book, and make notes in a journal of the key points of interest.  For a good book, I probably have 30 points or so, taking up maybe 3-4 A5 pages.  This is a time-consuming process and one that puts me off doing it.

My dilemma: I rarely refer back to my notebook (other than to do periodic reviews of the things I've written) which makes me think there's actually little point me making notes.  But I don't store stuff in my head well so it feels like I should make notes somehow.  But I don't want to waste time making notes if I then never use them.

I've toyed with typing notes into a doc (I like the back up and the ability to search) but this takes even more time.  Also messed around with the Kindle highlights but found that I was making too many notes (highlights were very long), and then spending time organising my notes into word docs.  OneNote might be a help here as a capture tool but then not sure I'll ever actually refer to it again.  Perhaps more limited Kindle highlights, paste into OneNote, summary of 3 Key points at top with maybe 1 or 2 actions.

Any ideas?  How have other people coped with this struggle?

GlennR's picture

It seems to me that your note-taking is okay, it's your note-reviewing that's tripping you up. I see two possible courses of action.

First, why not carve out blocks of time to review your notes on a regular basis? Say, thirty minutes every other Friday? You might think you're too busy. True, there will be crises that arise 30 minutes before your review and so you may have to cancel or postpone that particular appointment. But if you can achieve a 30-minute review fifty percent of the time, you're making progress. Ultimately, I believe the question is not, "How much time do I have?" rather, it's "How important is this to me?" If you decide it's not important, then don't take the notes.

Second, Today, I'll be using another method. One of my next actions is to review my Kindle notes from a book I read back in the summer. That book directly applies to a project I'm working on. That particular task may only take five minutes if I don't find anything useful, or it may take longer if it triggers some thinking. So, think of the books you've taken notes on and ask yourself if you can fit in reviewing your notes in as a next action when you're working on those projects.



gwadej's picture

The idea of dog-earing a page in a book really makes me itch.

Several years ago, my wife found a much better solution to the problem in a university bookstore: Book Darts ( They allow you to make the exact line on a page that you are interested in remembering without doing permanent damage to the book. Almost every book I keep for reference has a number of these markers in it.

Unfortunately, they become less useful as I move to ebooks for some subjects.