How do you engage with a book while reading it?
Do you underline and take notes in the margins?
Do you simply stop and ponder any interesting idea that you come across?
Here I’d like to propose a more active way of reading, by creating a bookmark that you can take notes on.
Check out the video above and recap below to see this approach in action.
The Trifold Bookmark
The setup is pretty simple: just fold a piece of paper into thirds, giving yourself six columns to work with.
Column by Column Notes
While reading, keep your folded bookmark close by, and any time an interesting or important idea comes up, jot it down.
Here are some examples from the book that I’m currently reading, The Changing World Order by Ray Dalio.
Since I like taking visual notes, you can see me alternating between quick sketches, diagrams, and short phrases to capture each new idea.
I’ve found that I enjoy the constraint of a column by column approach. It keeps me moving in one direction and helps me to chunk up ideas.
The Pros & Cons
Though I’m still experimenting with this approach to reading and note-taking, I have already noticed some pros and cons.
- Better understanding while reading
- Make more connections and explore interesting tangents
- Practice drawing new things
- Finish the book with a complete set of visual notes
- Smooth transition to the next stage of work
- No need to keep the physical book
- Slower reading pace
- More resistance to pick up the book
So far the pros are outweighing the cons and I’m enjoy this process more than my previous approach to book note-taking, so I’m going to stick with this method.
If you’re intrigued, do give it a try!
Learn How to Take Visual Notes
If you’d like to weave more sketches into your note-taking process, come join us inside of Verbal to Visual.
There you’ll find a full library of sketchnoting courses and regular live workshops to help you build your skills:
You can learn more and sign up here.