The Brutal Truth About Reading: If You Don’t Take Notes Right, You’ll Forget Nearly Everything

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Seven years ago, I swallowed a bitter pill.

Up to that point I had read hundreds of books. Yet, when asked about specific ones, I often realized I had forgotten almost everything. The brutal reality was I had wasted thousands of hours.

You know what I’m talking about. Right? It’s that moment you find yourself struggling for words when you try to explain an audiobook you spent eight hours listening to a few months ago. It’s the surprise of revisiting a childhood movie (ie, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, Home Alone, or Star Wars for me) and realizing you only remember a few plot points.

It’s in these moments you realize the brutality of the human experience. That memories are sandcastles blown away by the tides of time.

That the brain is more of a forgetting machine than a remembering machine. That we are captains of leaky vessel:

So, I wondered to myself, “Is there a better way to remember what I learn?”

I Spent Seven Years Studying The Best Note-Taking Methods, Experimenting With Tools, And Taking Thousands Of Pages Of Notes

At the beginning of my note-taking journey, I was also a few years into writing, and I saw waste there as well:



Michael Simmons (
Accelerated Intelligence

I teach people to learn HOW to learn / Serial entrepreneur / Bestselling author / Contributor: Time, Fortune, and Harvard Business Review)