Reading and reviewing with Readwise.io

Mike Janssen
Mike Janssen
Reading and reviewing with Readwise.io

During the next academic year, I will go through my institution's equivalent of the tenure process. (We don't have tenure, but that's a story for another day.) As a part of the process, candidates write a significant paper reflecting on the institution's mission and the ways in which have grown as contributors to that mission. In preparation, I'm doing some extra reading, but until recently I haven't had a good system for retaining and reviewing what I've read, which is when reading really pays dividends. Enter Readwise.io (note: if you click that link and sign up, I may get a small bonus).

Readwise works by syncing highlights from things you've read and then presenting selected highlights for you to review every day in the Readwise app and via an email digest (though you can tweak the settings for how many highlights you're sent, and how often). In addition to things you've read, it will also suggest highlights from things related to what you've read.

It works especially well with digital services like Kindle, Instapaper, and others, but I've actually been using it to take notes on paper books via its photo/OCR feature. In addition to the app/email digest reviewing option, you can export your highlights to many other notes apps. The export to Roam Research is a bit wonky to set up, but it has worked well so far. Then you can easily build connections between the things you're reading and thinking about.

I'm still working my way through the free trial month, but it feels like a service that will be worth investing in. It helps that it is perpetually 50% off for students and faculty at educational institutions, but I would sign up even if I paid the full price.

For more, see David Sparks' great recent write-up.

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