Taming Information overload: How I revolutionized my reading
It was a great experience to celebrate my birthday on January the second. I got numerous presents from my family, but the biggest gift actually came from the internet at the end of 2022, even before my birthday.
Recently, reading was a frustrating experience for me. I'm currently reading thinking fast and slow by Daniel Khanemann, which is a breathtaking book, but it's also loaded with 400 pages of challenging information. Everything that book tells you is not only hard to understand, but the sheer amount of eye-opening psychological facts about our thinking is often too much to remember. And combined with the other amount of information I normally consume daily, makes a perfect formula to never actually remember what I read, or at least, not as detailed as I wanted to.
Writing things down is always a solution. There's the fact that your brain is better suited to have ideas instead of remembering them. Unfortunately, taking notes makes reading more exhausting for me, especially if I think of organizing and revising the information afterward. I was fascinated by all the things that thinking fast and slow showed me about our intuition, but reading that book wasn't fun because I was always thinking that I probably wouldn't remember much of what I just read.
So, coming back to my own big discovery. I recently watched a video by Ali Abdaal which is called “building a second brain”. The title + video actually refers to a book by Tiago Forte. And what I took from that video, and actually tried out myself, is an online service called Readwise.
The Service does cost €10 per month, but it offers a clever solution to my problems, and makes reading a lot more effective. The service is available online and as an app on android and IOS. And what makes it so special is that you can connect other apps with it. So, I synchronized my digital books in kindle with the app, and everything I marked and will get highlighted is automatically imported into readwise. The way you then process the quotes and ideas you highlighted is very convenient. You basically look at around 5 of them every day, with a click of a button called the daily review. This makes watching your info very fast, as it's comparable to using flashcards.
Furthermore, the algorithm behind the flashcards is beyond genius. You can always configure how likely it should be to view your highlights of certain books and podcast. Additionally, ideas you just marked often get instantly shown the next time you review your notes, but will appear less often later. What's even more fantastic is that you can also synchronize even more apps and, like me, also save short passages in podcasts as text, with the click of a button with an app called Snipd.
There are so many possibilities, and I find this to be the ultimate solution to my personal problem. Nowadays, I read thinking fast and slow and always highlight the insights that interest me. And all that, whilst having the mindset that I'm actually going to remember the ideas for a very long time.
This removal of effort makes reading a lot more attractive for me, and I will probably consume a lot more books in the future because of this discovery. Consider trying out systems and workflows in your life. There is always a system that works for you, and it often upgrades your work to the next level.
May your system be beyond genius ✨