How to remember more after reading?



For an untrained mind, the gains after reading vanish quite quickly. Hermann Ebbinghaus figured this out in the form of Forgetting Curve.

We forget most of the stuff, our brains need to squeeze incredible amounts of data in simpler forms to be able to accommodate everything so we have all kinds of remembering mechanisms. So for example: we remember the familiar, that we are often exposed to. Unfamiliar we totally reject.


When it comes to reading, unless we review there is not much use.

So to get more out of the reading we should take, notes and writes summaries of the main points. Heck, even summarizing the whole book into a one point is better than not doing it at all. At least you can throw in that point, when someone asks you about the book, better than nothing!

I try to find few, usually around 1 to 3 applicable lessons from the book that I plan to implement to my life.

Recently I learned from Neil Parhischa’s Happiness Equation that “being yourself removes regrets from life.”

From Cashflow Quadrant I learned to listen my internal dialogue and discover the barriers that prevent me from moving to the direction I want.

From Brian Tracy’s Pyschology of Selling I picked up many valuable lessons for sales. Two of my favorite lessons are: 1) Salespeople are teachers 2) we guide the conversations with questions.

From Mark Manson’s book, I cannot remember, but something it had to do with priorities and suffering.

Remembering. Forgetting is part of remembering, because our brains are counting on the repetition to pop up the important things if they are truly important. If we do not repeat the important things, they are not important to our brains and therefore forgotten.

To get more out of learning we need:

  • Repetition
  • Revision
  • Discussion
  • Synthesis
  • Action points
  • Notes
    • Even better: pictures
  • Re-writing
  • Re-reading
  • Reflection

If it’s a physical book, our minds tend to remember easier the physical places where the information was storage. If it’s a digital, then we might remember it more linear way, it came after or before something. With physical objects we have more dimensions.

In the end to remember better about one thing, we need to create very strong memory out of that one: our conclusion or summary of the book, how was it in one sentence?

Path further from here would vastly benefit from mnemonic practices to elaborate.

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