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Remember instead of forgetting: How to use what you have read for your practice in 3 steps
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Read at the right time, save content and improve your own memory: tips on how to use what you have read better for your practice.
Isabel Kiely, Senior Content & Community Manager, Textbroker
-> 7 minutes reading time
Are you one of those people who receive tons of industry news every day, but quickly forget what you have just read? Wouldn't it be nice if you could call up what you read at exactly the right moment or even put it into practice?
According to the ARD / ZDF online study, every German spends an average of 3:16 hours a day online - 47 minutes longer than in 2017. 45 minutes of this is spent on media. Whether mobile or on the desktop, whether on industry pages or social media channels: Interesting content competes with each other on all possible platforms. The general flood of content means that you only skim most of the information. With all the information that rains down on us every day, we usually don't get to memorize what we have read in our day-to-day work, let alone implement important findings from it. So how do you manage to keep the most important points and apply them to your daily practice?
1. Read at the right time
According to learning psychology, when we are relaxed, we can remember things better and understand them. In a relaxed atmosphere, the brain is better at engaging with new material and then associates it with positive feelings. You should therefore not read interesting articles between the door and the hinge, for example when you have to go to the next meeting or are waiting for an important call.
It is better to save the content for a later time, when you can devote more attention to it.
It is also advisable to schedule fixed times for consuming new content, for example always in the morning for 30 minutes in the office, during the lunch break or when you commute to work.
Whether you are better able to memorize content early in the morning or in the evening also depends on your chronotype. Depending on whether you are more of an owl or a lark, it makes sense to adapt the reading of important information to your biorhythm. You can find out which type you are here.
In a relaxed atmosphere, the brain is better at engaging with new material and then associates it with positive feelings.
2. Save and sort what has been read
But even if you decide to look at a text again later, you often forget this or you won't find the article in question again later. It therefore makes sense to store interesting content in fixed locations.
Of course, you could write everything you want to remember on post-its and attach them around your workspace. But that quickly becomes confusing. You could also bookmark interesting content in your browser and save it in folders and sub-folders. However, if you want to save content several times a week, this method will also quickly become unusable. A better way to collect and sort material on different topics is to use apps or social bookmarking services like the following:
Pocket: folder for all kinds of information
With Pocket, interesting content can be easily saved for later. The virtual pocket is available as an app for iOS and Android and as an add-on for the browser. Articles, pictures, videos, etc. can be saved in Pocket directly from the browser or from apps. You can categorize saved content with tags so that you can find it more easily afterwards. For example, does an article relate to the project you are currently working on? Then mark it with an appropriate keyword.
- Content saved in Pocket can be viewed on various devices and offline.
- The basic version of Pocket is free.
- The premium version without advertising is available from € 4.49 per month.
Evernote and OneNote: Virtual Notebooks
Evernote also offers functions similar to Pocket. The app also serves as a folder for content in various formats - whether website, PDF document or image. The tool is even better suited if you not only want to read the saved content, but also want to take notes on it. Do you have a good idea on the way? Then type it into your smartphone and save it in Evernote for later.
Handwritten notes and audio notes can also be collected in the app. If you want to convert audio files into text, you can use the speech-to-text function of your smartphone or speech recognition apps. Saved content can be tagged for better filtering.
- Content stored in Evernote can also be shared with other people.
- The free basic account has a 60 MB upload limit per month.
- The premium version of Evernote with more storage space and additional functions is available from € 29.99 per year.
An alternative for collecting information and notes is Microsoft OneNote. In addition to saving websites, you can enter text, draw sketches or add screenshots, just like with Evernote. The surface is kept in the office design.
- The tool is particularly useful for Windows users, but content can be viewed from any PC or smartphone.
- OneNote notebooks can be shared with others. The software is therefore very suitable for collecting ideas together.
- OneNote is available as a free download independent of Microsoft Office, but requires a Microsoft account.
Social bookmarking with Diigo
Another way of collecting and organizing information from the network is the Diigo social bookmarking service.
Bookmarks are clearly arranged with Diigo and can be commented on. Marked content is stored centrally in a dashboard and can be organized in folders and lists and provided with tags. With the stored content, passages can be highlighted and marginal notes (sticky notes) can be added.
If you wish, you can share and edit the content saved in Diigo with colleagues. You can decide whether the bookmarks remain private or public. The basic version of Diigo with up to 500 bookmarks is free, the premium version without advertising and with more functions is available from 40 US dollars per year.
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3. Better to remember what you have read
Depending on what kind of learner you are, it can be a good idea to consume interesting content in different ways. With acoustic types, for example, a lot gets stuck when they listen to content. In addition to following industry podcasts, you can have articles read to you, for example using apps that convert text to speech.
It helps most people to take notes on important key points in order to better understand and memorize content. It does not matter whether you use your mobile phone, apps like Evernote or paper and pen. It is also a good option to create mind maps on relevant content. The visual structuring and clustering make it easier to recognize relationships.
Another strategy to help you memorize something interesting is to tell another person about it. Exchange ideas with colleagues or at trade fairs with people from your industry. By reproducing what you have read, you can filter out the most important information and recognize its meaning even better.
It helps most people to take notes on important key points in order to better understand and memorize content.
In order to increase memory retention, it also helps to obtain further information on the relevant topic. Try a Google search or see if you know an expert with whom you can share what you have learned.
The good old school trick also helps: if you read a text several times, its content is more likely to be anchored in your long-term memory.
Most of the information is forgotten after a short time, unless you process it or use it. With our tips, you will be able to collect relevant information more easily and better remember what you have read. Now all you have to do is ask yourself: what can I use of it?
And how do you keep track of the flood of content? We'd love if you share your tips with us in the comments.
- Isabel Kiely
- Blog, for clients
- 2 comments
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