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Take notes after each chapter - Learnings

With the book Notes for Keine Sinnfragen, Bitte I tried the first time to take my notes immediately after I finished reading a chapter.


I was triggered because I read the book as a paperback version.

  • So highlighting was not a good option as with the kindle.
  • Also I could not rely on getting my highlights automatically imported to Obsidian (like with Kindle books)
  • And I know myself and extra willpower required to capture my thoughts after having a whole book finished.

What I did this time

  • I focussed on reading a chapter completely. To focus on a certain type of work instead of switching reading and writing too fast 1.
  • I worked with one fleeting note where I extracted my highlights and learnings. Just one note helped me to not get distracted by structuring too much.
  • When finished with a chapter I wrote down my highlights from the chapter and added linking 2. The structure was still oriented on the chapters but notes could go everyone in my note.
    • And I extracted just items that were highlights and extensions to my current knowledge and projects. I followed the progressive summarisation approach, but by chapter. 3
  • Partially I was not on my computer. So for some chapters I took notes on my Remarkable. This required a 2nd step to get it written to Obsidian. But this was low effort still.
  • I already shared first impressions in my digital-garden after finishing chapter. Following the early sharing approach for my digital-garden
  • When I finished the book, I ran Progressive Summarization to polish my notes furter

What worked well

  • It was more fun. I felt to accomplish building my second brain and running through a [[Visual Notes | CODE]] (Capture-Organize-Distill-Express) cycle in iterations.
  • It removed the pain from doing all that work at the end of reading.
  • It raised questions early on. When building connections and externalising thoughts already while reading. These questions shaped reading the next chapters.
  • On my Remarkable. To mention the page and just extract the main thought. So I had a fast jumping point when I then extracted the thought to my smart note.
  • First time working with Obsidian Footnotes. Like that a lot as it makes the text simpler to follow and clean. I still need to level up on properly using Footnotes, but first step taken.

What is next?

  • I still need to get closer to permanent notes that are smaller and cover one aspect. E.g. the chapter about brainwaves 4 qualifies for a separate note.
  • My note taking is still not yet enough oriented on the areas and projects. Maybe I can achieve that by asking this question while building connections.



  1. How to take Smart Notes - Key Insights - Chapter Full Foucs 

  2. How to take Smart Notes - Key Insights - Chapter Linking while taking notes 

  3. Progressive Summarization 

  4. Notes for Keine Sinnfragen, Bitte - Chapter - Different Brain Waves 

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