Are you an avid book reader?
If so, the question which you will often come across is, should I take notes when reading a book?
Today, I will share with you the answer to this question. Along with the answer, I will go into the details so that you have proper justification for an answer. Without any delay, let me 1st answer this question.
Should I take notes when reading a book?
It is recommended to take notes while reading a book. It will help you better remember what you read, increase your concentration and paradoxically save you time
These aren’t the only advantages of taking notes while reading a book. There are more reasons why you should do so. I will highlight below these reasons as well.
What's Included in This Post
Why do I need to take notes while reading?
Instead of being a conundrum regarding taking notes while reading books, you have to look at the reasons below.
Once you go through the seven reasons below, it will be easy to understand why taking notes is a must rather than an optional endeavor.
1. Easy to go through the gist of the book
Every book has certain information that you can absorb in your life. Doing so can make your life better. The lessons in the books are always helpful in real life as well.
However, most people tend to forget about them. Neither, people prefer going through the book again.
When you’re taking notes while reading the book, you will have the gist of the book at hand. It will ensure that you can easily refer to your notes whenever you want to go through the lessons or the essential points of the book.
Doing so will take a few minutes and will let you know the gist of the book.
The number 1 reason you should take notes is to have a gist of the book whenever you want.
2. Better recall
You will either have to type the most important points of the book on your device or write these points down manually for taking notes. In both cases, you are more likely to remember those points as well.
Consequently, taking notes while reading books can increase your recall as well. It means that you are likely to remember the teachings or the book’s earnings for a long time. It in itself is a worthy reason to take notes.
3. Increases concentration
Will you be able to take notes if you are reading the book half-heartedly?
Of course not!
Once you have decided to take notes while reading, you will have to read with full concentration. Not only that, only when you understand the point, you will be able to take notes.
It means that once you decide to take notes, you will have to apply your entire concentration power while reading. In a way, taking notes certainly increases your concentration.
4. Helps you implement the tips
Most books have at least a few actionable lessons that you can act on. However, if you do not take notes, you will not remember these tips by the end of the book.
You will not even remember that there was an actionable tip that you could act on in many cases. To avoid this problem, it is a much better idea to take notes.
If you want, you can take notes of only the actionable tips and lessons on which you can act. When that is the case, you will have an actionable guide after completing every book.
Having such an actionable guide can certainly help you implement the tips as well. Even if you implement just a couple of tips from every book you read, you will improve your life. Thus, if you want to implement the actionable advice in the book you are reading, taking notes is necessary.
5. Easy to curate unique information
If you have chosen your books carefully, each book you read will consist of at least some unique information. Such unique information is beneficial for the reader.
Once you complete the book and start reading a new one, it is very difficult to recall this unique information. However, one book’s unique information can help you improve your life and understand some other book in a much better way.
Reading the very same book, again and again, is not a practical task. Instead of doing so, you have to take down notes.
Notes can consist of such unique information. When you have a handful of books and taken down the unique points of those books, you will have a powerful guide you can learn from and follow.
Notes enable you to create such unique information from every book. The duration of such information is a powerful and handy guide that you have. It is another benefit of taking down notes regularly when you’re reading books.
Have you ever recall the readings associate information in some book earlier?
If you’re an avid reader, of course, you would have such experience. After reading a few books, the problem is that recalling the same book in the chapter where you read the information is not easy.
Many times, finding the source of that information becomes a necessity. You have no option but to pour over the books which you have read earlier. Doing so can take you hours.
On the other hand, going through the notes requires just a few minutes.
In a nutshell, taking down notes can save you hours of future work and locate the information you might have read somewhere.
7. Breaks the monotony
Even for avid readers, it can become challenging to read consistently. After 20 to 30 pages, it might seem like a monotonous task.
On the other hand, when you’re taking down notes consistently, you have something else to do as well. Even though that is related to the book itself, it can undoubtedly help you break the monotony.
Once you break the monotony, it will become easier for you to continue reading once again.
If you find reading books monotonous, taking notes can certainly help you solve that problem.
As you can see, the benefits of taking notes while reading books are plenty. Rather than thinking about it as a necessary task, you have to look at these reasons, and after that you will understand why you should do so.
Where should I take notes?
There are essentially two ways to take notes. I will highlight both of them below.
The 1st option is to take notes on digital apps. You can use an app like Evernote. It allows you to take notes in the form of text or simply take a screenshot of the book or a picture of the book. Thus, such an app can allow you to take notes in any format.
Google notes also allows you to take text notes if you wish to do so.
You can use any Android word processor to do so.
You can go the old school way when it comes to taking notes. You can keep a notebook and a pencil beside you. Whichever points you like, you can quickly put it down.
These 2 are the most common ways to take notes. There is another way to jot down notes on the margins of the book. However, that will not serve you well. Whenever you want to go through your notes, you will have to go through the book once again.
That is why, essentially, these are the methods that you can use to take down notes.
How do I effectively take notes to remember them for a long time?
There are essentially three tips that you can follow to take notes in a more effective way. I will highlight these three below.
You have to use bullet points to take down notes. It allows you to maintain a hierarchy and keep your notes organized. Organizing your notes will certainly help you remember them for a longer time.
2. Mind mapping
Mind mapping involves creating a flow chart type structure on your notebook. You have to write the name of the book on top, the chapters below it, and the notes below each chapter. Doing so ensures that you can know right away which chapter covers which topic.
Creating such a flow chart will also help you keep the ideas organized. You can remember organized ideas for a long time rather than haphazard ones. Even though this method requires you to take some extra effort but mind mapping ideas onto a notebook can undoubtedly help you remember them for a long time.
3. Cornell system
On your notebook, first, you have to draw a line that is one quarter up from the bottom of the page. After that, you have to draw a vertical line on page 1/3 from the left margin. You have to draw the line from the top-up to the horizontal line which you have drawn earlier.
The larger section on the page is for taking notes. You can draw a mind map here as well. The left vertical section is for cues. The bottom-most of the horizontal section is for the summary of the book.
Firstly, you have to take down notes in summary. After that, you can create a mind map in the note-taking area. After that, in the cue section, you have to write down actionable points.
Following this procedure will help you recall the notes which you take for a long time.
Thus, if you want to take notes so that you can recall them for a long time, you can use any of these three methods.
Is taking notes when reading a distraction?
No, taking notes when reading is not a distraction.
However, if you let any other thing come in between reading and taking notes, then you might break your chain of thoughts, and it might disrupt your reading experience.
So, you should take notes while reading books. With my guide above, you can easily understand how to take notes in the most effective way. The next time you’re reading a book, make sure that you take notes to get the maximum value out of it.