“How to remember what you read” —every productivity YouTuber.
The topic of distilling books down has been covered, maybe even too much.
But an even more important topic IMO is how to consume short form content the right way. I’m talking about blog posts, videos, podcasts, etc.
The system I’m following is CODE framework by Tiago Forte:
- Organize in your knowledge base
- Distill down to the essence
- Eexpress in your own words
So I want to share my approach to implementing this technique.
But first we need to understand why we should even bother doing that. And I think this is the missing piece and why we don’t consume content properly.
Reason: creating content and absorbing knowledge. I think the reason why people don’t really fathom the importance of that is because 99% of knowledge workers never tried a daily writing practice. Only then do you see the lack of understanding and breath of thinking you have. You realize that your thinking is very shallow and weak and that you don’t really know what you are curious and obsessed about. Lack of awareness.
- Capture: every time I read something interesting I create a note in Google Keep and write down everything —interesting quotes, practical insights, questions, examples, dots I’m connected, ideas on how to repurpose this idea to another area.
- Organize: I centralize everything in Keep so I know where to find the information. I’m a heavy user of tags and that’s why I picked Google Keep as my knowledge base which is an uncommon choice. Tiago Forte kicked off his career on an article about why tags are bad and we should all use his PARA method. But I wouldn’t agree. I think folders are too strong of border. There’s definitely a good way to use tags and I’ll try to cover that in a coming post, but I think they offer more flexibility to connect ideas.
- Distill: I like the concept of 12 problems by Richard Feynman. So everytime I’m reflecting on one of these problems I go through all the notes that cover this problem and find how I can reorganize notes. Maybe there’s redundancy or topics that interesct with each other and I can merge them or better, they spark a completely new idea and I create a new note to write about it.
- Express: that’s probably the most important part that not enough people are doing. That’s why we did all of the above in the first place.