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Steps in A PKM/Thinker's Journey

From @apkussma this is what I have done this year to try to get more out of my information consumption.

I had to look up "PKM" : Personal Knowledge Management for Creatives

TL:DR: Take notes and put them on notePD either public or private

Steps in A PKM/Thinker's Journey

    1. Keep a spreadsheet of all the books you read

    Mine is fairly simple: the book count, the date I read it, the title and author, and a link to a NotePD list, if I made one.

    This helps me review books that I have read and may or may not remember reading, and also inspires me to read more.

    You can also add books to this list that you want to read in the future.

    2. Publish your findings

    When I know that I'm going to publish something, I pay a lot more attention to the book. I try to get something out of it so that I can tell somebody else. I do all of this on Note PD. At the risk of oversharing it helps me focus my own thoughts and maybe I can give somebody else an idea. This keeps me accountable, makes me pay more attention when reading and also forces me to think harder about what I read to create a summary.

    3. The process of reading, taking notes, and publishing your notes helps you think and express yourself

    I found that my writing at work has improved dramatically as I write in my hobby on the Internet. Making these lists every day helps me to express myself more concisely and with more power in my professional life. It also just gives me more practice.

    4. Subscribe to a variety of book resources

    Finances may be an issue, but books are a pretty cheap way to get information. I read 80+% of my books from the public library for free. I also subscribe to Blinkist book summaries for $100 a year, Kindle unlimited for about $120 a year. If I can't get books on either one of these services, I will occasionally buy a book from eBay or Amazon. I buy eBooks as well.

    5. Don't hesitate to buy a book

    I learned this from Ramit Sethi. He points out that if you get one idea from a $20 book it will be worth the purchase. Whether it is saving you an hour of time or changing your life perspective.

    Unfortunately, I have accumulated a pile of unread books, but I have also read and learned a lot by doing this.

    6. Pick an arbitrary number of books to read in a given time as a goal

    As a recent "empty nester," I have much more free time than I did a few years ago. I picked an ambitious number of books to read in a year: about twice as many as I had been reading. I hit that goal in 8 months and kept going.

    7. Take the Long view: keep reading

    In 2023 I made a pledge to read voraciously, which I have talked about here. This has had a positive impact on my life in so many ways. Something that I read three months ago will click with something I'm reading now, adding value and compounding what I'm learning from both sources. Keep reading, whether you see an immediate benefit or not.

    For example, I knew almost nothing about Ukraine until this year's fighting over there. I read a few books about the history of Ukraine, and now when the news is on I have a better perspective on what the issues are in that part of the world. I have read a number of books about climate issues, poverty, and politics. Each of these books provides new layers to my understanding of current events.

    8. Take notes

    This practice helps me stay engaged in the book. It also gives me notes to reference, and it forces me to pay more attention if I know that I'm supposed to be taking notes, if only for myself.

    Also, if someone took the time to write a book they also took time to organize their thoughts. Sometimes the book's organization is more straightforward than others. Taking notes helps restructure what is happening. For me, this is helpful in an audio book. When the author says "There are 4 things that help you XYZ" make sure you get all four.

    9. If you own the book, take notes in the book with a pen or pencil

    This helps you stay engaged while you're reading

    10. learn how to take notes on different devices

    If I'm reading Kindle books on my phone, I have the notes application open and I have gotten to be very quick at highlighting text in the Kindle book and pasting it into the notes application. Also, if I'm reading an audiobook, I can switch to the notes application and hit the microphone button. Speak my notes, and when I release the speech button, the audiobook starts again. This is great to use when walking.

    11. Keep an unlined artists pad nearby to take notes on YouTube videos or online classes

    I buy the large format artist pads to take notes on. This way, I don't feel constricted by the lines and I can draw arrows or diagrams, and also use the white space to create lists and other notes.

    I do this when I have some YouTube videos on in the background.

    12. Bonus: Learn to Speed Read

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