Read. Review. Recall. A Simple Book Review System

Want to become the most resourceful person you know? Create a book review system that allows you to recall information, stories, quotes, and resources at a moment’s notice. If you are tired of reading good books only to forget all of what you read, you can change that.

In a previous post, I talked about the power of the spacing effect. It is a proven psychological phenomenon that works in our favor to recall what we’ve read. The spacing effect teaches us that we more easily remember items that are studied a few times spaced over a long time span. This is when the power of a book review system comes into full effect.

I’ve written several posts on each individual part of my book review process, but now it’s time to put it all together into an easy to follow system.

A Simple Book Review System – Read. Review. Recall.

Once you get this system put in place, it’s not hard at all to follow it. Let’s walk through each step so you can set up your book review system.

  • Step 1. Put together an amazing book reading list. If you have a goal of reading one book a week, you’ll need to have a book list to keep you on pace. I’m an Amazon Prime member so I get 2-day free shipping. I generally try to order a book by Wednesday so I’ll be sure to have time to read it the following week. I also have a Kindle so that makes it super easy to get a book fast as well. You can read more on my post about creating a book reading list.
  • Step 2. As you read books, highlight and index them. I won’t go into great detail here as you can read how I do this with physical books here and kindle books here. Basically, for physical books I use a blank page in the front of the book as an index page. I add the page number and a brief description of the highlighted passage. Regardless if it is a physical book or a kindle book, my book notes go into Evernote.
  • Step 3. Add finished books to your book reading system. Once I finish a book it goes into Evernote, I add a tag of “book notes” and then “daily” to start off with. That way I can easily change the tags to move my book through my review system. If you want to see an example, you can read my post here.
  • Step 4. Review each book daily for four weeks. Every morning when I first sit down to work, I pull up Evernote and click on my saved search labelled “Daily Review.” I typically have four books to review daily. This takes me about 15-20 minutes to complete on average. Reviewing your book notes on a regular basis help to burn the quotes, stories, and principles into your memory. Each book gets reviewed daily by me for four weeks. To see examples of my daily book review, go to my post My Daily Book Review System in 15 Minutes or Less.
  • Step 5. Move daily review books to your weekly review. I keep track of where my book is in my review system at the bottom of each Evernote note. Once I reach four weeks of daily review, I change the Evernote tag to “weekly” and it gets moved to my weekly book review. I do my weekly book review every Saturday morning and it takes about 15-20 minutes to do so. You can read more about my weekly review process at How to Do a Weekly Book Review in Evernote.
  • Step 6. Move weekly review books to your monthly review. After four weekly reviews (one month time frame), the last step is to move to a monthly review. This happens on the first Saturday of every month. I’ll review these books four times which comes out to four months.
  • Step 7. Become the most resourceful person you know. If you have tracked my system, each book gets six months of review. If you commit to a system like this or similar, you will be amazed at how many times a story, quote, or answer comes to you while in conversation with other people. You will also be amazed at how much of what you’ve learned is integrated into your life and the way you think.

If you want to be resourceful, you have to be intentional about your personal growth. One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Jim Rohn which states: “Your level of success, will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.”


    Jonathan has been blogging since 2009 and is still in awe that the Creator of the Universe desires to have a relationship with him. His passions include spending time with his kids, reading, March Madness, surprise get-a-way trips with his wife, and watching funny YouTube videos.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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