These are real books on my bookshelf, not a stock photo.
Chuck Grimmett
May 10, 2017 · 2 min read

I try to take time every day to read. Here is how I go about reading and taking notes on different mediums.

Physical books

  • Underline and take bullet point notes as I go through
  • Revisit my underlines and bullet points a few days after finishing the book to write the takeaways in my own words. I sometimes publish these at


  • Highlight and take bullet point notes as I read.
  • Revisit my underlines and bullet points a few days after finishing the book to write the takeaways in my own words.
  • Export my highlights and include them with the book notes.


  • I listen on 1.25–1.5x speed. Most audiobooks are just too slow for me. I wish the Audible app had Overcast’s Smart Speed feature built in to reduce pauses.
  • Every 30 minutes or so I pause my listening and jot down a list of notes from the last listening session. I listen to audiobooks a lot while I’m driving, so on long trips I tend to pull over at rest areas for a few minutes to take notes. If I’m out on a walk, I just wait until I get back home.

Online Articles

  • I consume and immediately move on from most articles I casually read.
  • If I found the article because I’m doing research, I usually take what I’ve learned and use it immediately. I then bookmark the article for later reference.
  • I rarely take notes on articles. Sometimes I’ll edit the bookmark description on, but that is usually the extent of it.
  • The exception when I do take notes is when I learn something really useful from the article. Those notes tend to get appended to a long-running topical document with a link that I can refer to later. Examples: Marketing, project management, investing, health, etc. It is useful to keep long-running documents with things you’ve learned that you can turn to when you are having trouble.

Chuck Grimmett

Written by

Product Manager at Praxis, photographer, and problem solver. In my spare time I read, cook, and make data visualizations.

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