Home How I Learn

How I Learn


  • iPad
  • Laptop/PC
  • Google Drive/DropBox/any cloud storage

Consume the content

When I read from an article, PDF, or any text-based resource, I follow the following rules:

  • Use two highlighting colors (orange and green) and alternate between them to separate ideas.
  • After reading for some time or feeling that I have lost or might lose track of what I have read before, I come back and write marginal notes (in red) to describe the general idea for each highlighted section.
  • After completing reading the content, I revisit my notes and try to have a solid understanding of the content, and add more marginal notes with a different color (blue).
  • Re-write my notes and general ideas into a piece of paper to understand the flow of ideas (just focus on important things and ignore details that aren’t important)

Document ideas

After I complete consuming the content, I move my notes to Obsidian to have them backed up in Markdown and organized for future reference. I try to refactor my notes every month or so.

Screenshot from 2022-02-19 23-07-40

The connection between different markdown notes in Obsidian.

Things that I use

I use my iPad to write notes by hand and read PDFs. However, I have a different setup to organize my workflow:

  • GoodNotes: to write notes from scratch.
    • I use dark, square-style sheet
    • I use three colors (yellow=main content, red and blue=side notes)

Screenshot from 2022-02-19 22-52-31

  • Notability: to read and highlight on PDF.
    • I use three highlighting colors (orange and green = highlighting ideas, and blue = for extremely important things or weird stuff that I want to look into later)
    • I use two colors for marginal notes(red = during reading, and blue = after reading)

Screenshot from 2022-02-19 22-58-12

Both of them are synced to Google Drive and I use insync to sync the documents created in both GoodNotes and Notability to my PC/Laptop.

In addition, I use the following to do certain things:

  • Mathpix: take a screenshot on pdf or hand-written equations to turn them into LaTeX equations (basically to be added to LaTeX or Markdown document)
  • Google Drive: for cloud storage
  • insync: to automatically backup my stuff between different machines
  • Zotero: to manage pdf files
  • Todoist: to manage tasks and reading content
  • raindrop.io: to manage online content (smart bookmarks)
  • Super Simple Highlighter: to highlight on the web
This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.

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