In this post I will show you how to improve learning with kindle…
I was resistant to getting a Kindle for a long time. It wasn’t until I was going permanently travelling that it became a necessity and I got one. It’s completely impractical to carry many physical books around on your person. When you’re moving address all of the time, in random countries, it’s also hard to get Amazon deliveries. So, Kindle it was.
I quickly fell in love with my Kindle
It took all of one day for me to realise my mistake and fall in love with my Kindle.
I always liked having a real book in my hands, but the kindle is just easier. Little things. You can lay it down and the page doesn’t turn. You can have multiple books on you at all times. I like to only read one book at a time when possible, but I also like to use certain books for reference and it’s convenient to have them with me.
I will also often complete a book, then save doing the exercises in it for when I have the time and mental clarity to dedicate to them properly. In the mean time, I will start reading a new book for time-filling while commuting or waiting for a meal, etc.
Anyway, this post isn’t a love note to Amazon. Kindle’s are good. You should probably get one. Here is how I use it to improve my learning and the value I get from the books I read…
Improve Learning with Kindle
Step 1: Use Kindle’s highlight function to highlight key quotes, phrases or paragraphs
As you read, highlight the things that stand out to you. Always highlight complete sentences or even paragraphs, that get their message across as a stand alone. When you look back at them, you don’t want to have to read half a chapter to understand the context.
Do this as you read through, exactly as you normally would.
Step 2: Do the exercises (if applicable)
There’s nothing more annoying than people who read any sort of self-help, business or educational books, and don’t complete the exercises within. It’s a waste of time. Do the damn exercise if you want to create change.
I always recommend you use a pen and notebook for this. Don’t do it on the computer. Something about writing it down makes things stick in your mind.
I go through pages and pages of notebooks, writing things down from books. It’s an excellent way to not just learn theory, but actually internalise change in your subconscious.
Step 3: Leave it for a few weeks
Go about your life and don’t give too much conscious thought to the book, unless it pops up in your mind organically.
Step 4: Read back through the highlighted quotes at a later date.
To find the highlights, on a Kindle:
- Open the relevant book
- Click the top menu
- Click “Go To”
- Click the Notes tab
- This will display your highlights
- Click each one to open that page and read the full highlighted passage
As you read, think on each one for a moment or two…
Did you remember this from your previous reading or does it read like new?
Have you implemented this in any form since reading the first time?
Can you think of a situation, past, present or future where you could implement this?
The point of reading back is two-fold. To see if you have remembered what you highlighted and, most importantly, to see if you have actioned it.
If you action it, I guarantee you will remember it. If you haven’t, pay special notice to the third question.
Step 5: Hand-write out all of the highlighted passages
Here are my notes from ‘The One Thing’ by Gary Keller, which I wrote about previously.
Writing things out by hand really embeds it in your brain.
Step 6: Create memory aids
Is there something that really stands out to you in the highlighted passages, and you have not been actioning?
If so, create memory aids for it.
Depending on the book subject and situation will depend on what this looks like. It might be something you can set in motion right then and there. Perhaps something you need to schedule in your diary, or write reminders for in places you regularly see, such as your computer background.
Do what needs to be done, to make sure that you remember and action what you take from the highlighted chapters.
Step 7: Scroll through your notes occasionally
I don’t do this on a schedule, I tend to just do it periodically. It would work better if you scheduled it monthly. (note to self)
Read back through a note book and again; see what you have remembered and actioned.
What have you forgotten? What have you not taken action on?
Repeat step 6.
It’s also good at this stage to reflect on how far you have come. Note all of the things that you have actioned and the positive effects it has had on your life. This will create a positive feedback loop of reinforcing beliefs and good habits.
It’s really easy to forget how far you’ve come. You naturally start to treat things as second nature that, not so long ago, were earth-shattering breakthroughs.
It’s good to remember that. It encourages you to keep moving forwards and overcome the next boundary.
I think Kindle’s are great and it has definitely made the process of remembering things so much easier. I used to fold over page corners in physical books and it was way more hassle to go back through them.
Actioning what you are reading is the most important part. Just reading something alone might make you slightly more intelligent, but it won’t do shit for you life.
Action things. Do stuff. Make progress and grow.
If you want to buy a kindle, I use the Kindle PaperWhite (Amazon)* and think it’s great.
* That’s an affiliate link – if you want a Kindle and don’t, for whatever reason, want to give me a small affiliate commission, go ahead and search Amazon yourself.