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Reading notes

Retain more information when reading books by taking better reading notes.

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About this reading notes Template

Jim Eagar, a member of the Craft Community, created this reading notes template. It's an easy-to-use tool that helps you to take better reading notes, and therefore improve your retention of the new information you're reading.

The template is broken into several parts:

  • Title: A title of the reading material that you are studying.
  • Summary: A short summary of the book in a few sentences.
  • Key takeaways: the most applicable learnings that you personally take from the book
  • Your review: what do you think of the book in a sentence or two?
  • Quotes, highlights & notes: these could be imported from ebooks and reading apps or written directly into Craft.
  • Links: a chance to link to any resources or other information that's connected and relevant to the book.

This Reading Notes template was designed for writing notes on books, but it can easily be adapted for articles and other online reading instead.

What is a reading notes template?

A reading notes template is a document that helps you keep track of important things you're learning while you are reading. It's generally used with non-fiction reading but can easily be adapted to work for fiction books too.

The biggest benefit of using a reading notes template is it allows you to take organized and thorough notes about a book which can be referred back to later. Also, the process of taking notes, particularly if using the HQ&A process Jim refers to in the template, helps you to internalize information better.

When to use a reading notes template?

This reading notes template is a great way to quickly capture key information from books, articles, and other materials. It can be used for a variety of purposes, such as:

  • Highlighting important points that you want to remember
  • Summarizing a book or article in a few key points
  • Applying the lessons from a book to your own life

They can also be used to track progress when reading a book or an article or to share notes with friends or colleagues.

How to use a Reading Notes Template

  • Whenever you start a new book, add the title and cover photo to the top of the template
  • Highlight relevant sections as you read through the book and take notes about things that you're learning. As Tiago Forte mentions in his hit book Building A Second Brain, you should take note of the things that are useful and inspirational to you. Don't try to track every single thing you read as your notes will be very difficult to digest afterward.
  • If you're reading a paper book, you might write your notes directly into Craft. If you're using an ebook, some people make notes and highlights in the ebook software before importing to Craft later.
  • After finishing the book, take some time to read through the rest of the template and answer the questions. These questions were selected to help you reflect on what you read and how to apply it in your life.
  • Share your reading notes with a friend. This helps to share your learnings even further and turns reading into a more collaborative activity.


This template goes great with our Reading Journal and Reading Tracker too. 

FAQ About the Reading notes Template

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