Creativity, self-improvement

Have a learning system

Note: This post is one of a bunch I will be publishing from time to time. These posts will reveal personal, social, and professional rules and practices I follow to help keep me productive, creative, and happy. Some of the rules or practices may not apply to you, but I thought I would share to see if they can be of use to people.

If you’re like me and are serious about reaching mastery in some field or market, then you need as much help as you can get.

Doing things that excite you is great, but not enough: you need to actively be in control of what you’re learning and how you’re learning. This is how you know you’re actually absorbing what you’re reading and practicing and progressing towards some kind of higher-level.

For me, I have a simple system that I use to help me learn. This system is similar to Ryan Holiday’s note-card system (which he in turn inherited from his mentor, Robert Greene). Basically, what I do is if I’m learning a subject or skill (say, “strategy” or “strategic thinking”), I create a folder in my Google Drive. In this folder, I put in articles I have read or want to read, cool quotes or maxims that I like, patterns that I’m observing in my reading, and so on.

As I am putting all this information in, I am organizing it for easy access. Sometimes I organize by content (e.g. articles, quotes, patterns); sometimes I organize by theme – whatever I think will be easier to access the info.

What I like about this learning system is that all my knowledge is stored somewhere outside of my brain. I can easily access them if I forget anything and want to re-study the concepts. Plus, since I’m a writer, they allow me to pull ideas quickly so that I am never trying to figure out what to write about.

What about you? Do you have any cool systems you use for learning?

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