How Do I Remember What I Read?
From noticing features of the page to integrating and digesting key points, here are 12 answers to the question, “What are your best tips for remembering what you read?”
- Use Your Photographic Memory
- Take Written Notes
- Take Advantage of Digital Notes and Speech-To-Text
- Learn Mnemonics and Other Memorization Tools
- Do Some Mind Mapping
- Reflect on the Content
- Remember With Spaced Repetition
- Practice the “Four R” Method
- Read Right Before Bed or as Soon as You Wake Up
- Highlight What You Want to Remember in Yellow
- Visualize Your Thoughts
- Write a Book Review
Use Your Photographic Memory
Whether you read a novel, a study, or a speech script for a school project, it’s often a good idea to remember some points of reference in the text. Perhaps it’s a particular text structure, maybe a drawing on the page, or any other feature that makes one page distinct from the others.
Even if photographic memory isn’t your thing, it still might help to scratch that part of your brain and try to keep the memory of the image of the page in your head. That method can be effective.
Take Written Notes
I remember things better when I engage multiple senses. When listening to or reading content, I also write important points, then go back later and read them.
This gives me something to refer to without having to re-read the entire content. My notes can also trigger other thoughts I didn’t write.
Take Advantage of Digital Notes and Speech-To-Text
The best tip for remembering what you’ve read is to use a digital note-taking tool with speech-to-text functionality, such as Evernote. By speaking aloud and summarizing the key points of what you’ve just read into the note-taking app, you’re reinforcing the information in your brain in multiple ways through listening, speaking, and writing.
By using a digital note-taking tool, you can easily search and retrieve the information later, which can be especially helpful when you’re trying to recall specific details.
So, next time you’re struggling to remember what you’ve read, try using a digital note-taking tool with speech-to-text functionality to reinforce the information and make it easier to recall later.
Learn Mnemonics and Other Memorization Tools
There really isn’t a better way to remember something than by repeating it over and over until it sinks deep into your gray matter.
There are many useful mnemonics and memorization tricks that help sort information into your brain, but all of them come down to the same thing in the end—spend more time looking and thinking about something and you’re likely going to remember it better.
So repeating something—by reading it, by speaking it, or by writing it—will pay dividends.
Do Some Mind Mapping
Mind mapping is a diagram used to visualize and organize information into a hierarchy, relating pieces of the whole to one another.
This method is effective because you’re not simply recalling information, but also connecting them in logical ways. Because of the visualization involved with mind maps, you can actively observe connections between ideas, which helps promote your ability to better remember what you read.
Reflect on the Content
Whether it’s social media content, passages in a book, or an important business report, most people have to do a considerable amount of reading daily. It’s a simple tactic, but to keep this information, go back and reflect on what you just read.
To do this effectively, consider the implications of the content, identify the main points, and think about how the content relates to your life.
Remember With Spaced Repetition
This is an excellent tool that involves revisiting the material at regular intervals so that it remains fresh in your memory and makes learning efficient.
You can use flashcards, online quizzes, and other tools to help you master the material. For example, if you are learning a new language, you can create flashcards with the words and phrases that you want to remember and then review them at regular intervals.
Another effective way to remember the material is to remember it without referencing it. This helps you better understand and keep the information.
Practice the “Four R” Method
Reading and keeping what you read is a vital skill to master for anyone who wants to excel in work and life. As a blogger, I am constantly digesting new information and I have some tricks that I can share with you. I suggest implementing the “Four R” method—Review, Rewrite, Reflect, and Reconstruct.
1. Review what you have just read; skimming it over again will help reinforce concepts and recall important details.
2. Rewrite the material in your own words, which will help create connection points between your knowledge base and new information so that they may be easier to access when needed.
3. Reflect on the material; try to think about how to apply or connect this material with other material that you have learned before.
4. Reconstruct questions around key themes to create stronger connections, which will cause better memory retention. By following these four steps, you two can improve your ability to keep more from what you read.
Read Right Before Bed or as Soon as You Wake Up
I have no scientific backing for this—it’s just my personal experience—but I’ve always been able to study, focus, and remember things I read better if I either read it right before going to bed (while I’m winding down and putting away all the screens) or as soon as I wake up!
I set an alarm extra early in the morning and, instead of going into my usual morning routine, I go straight to my reading. This works especially well for me because there’s not much noise around the house or neighborhood.
Highlight What You Want to Remember in Yellow
I do most of my reading on a Kindle, but this tip also works with a physical book; you just need a yellow highlighter.
Highlighting important passages helps you pay attention to the content and helps it stand out so that you’re more likely to remember it.
Visualize Your Thoughts
A picture isn’t worth a thousand words, but it may surely capture the essence of dozens. Also, I believe visuals are far easier to remember than words.
Memory wizards who do stage performances (as do card counters in casinos) credit their success to the use of gimmicks based on mental images.
Regular readers can benefit from the habit of visualizing the meaning of the text. The highlighted essential phrases in the text, for example, become effective for memorizing when used as a starting point for mental imagery.
All that is required is to recognize the essential words and recall the mental imagery associated with them. It’s beneficial to visualize headings and subheadings. Grouping pictures into similar groupings or connecting them to make a story makes them easier to remember.
Write a Book Review
I read a lot, and I feel I haven’t assimilated what I’ve read. It feels like such a waste.
However, I also realize that when I write a book review, I go through key points in the book and integrate and digest them. So writing a book review is the best way to remember what I read.
Marking highlights and putting notes in Kindle versions of books I read helps a lot, as well as help me go through the book in a jiffy and remember key takeaways.
Submit Your Answer
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