26 replies
We've had threads about certain books etc on here many times and some I have bought and read and actioned.

My question is how do you try to get the most out of the business books you read?

Do you make notes and underline parts so you can go back to them , do you write or type out notes from the book that resonate with your situation/needs, do you read the whole book through two or more times, do you finish each chapter and then précis it in your own words, etc

I find as I am reading through, parts hit home and I write them down to type up into a help file and have that as a revisit opportunity when needed. I would like to put more of the advice into action at times as weeks later when re reading the notes they mean far less than when I was reading the book, their strength has diminished as I'm no longer so wrapped up in the book.

I am now considering writing blog posts or articles based on the content I would have just written up in note form, then my content can be used multiple times by me and be far more useful and the stuff that truly starts hitting home can be created into something far more valuable than mere notes.

What do you do with the information you glean from business books?
#books #business
  • Profile picture of the author amcg
    I'm not sure business books are that much of great idea in terms of investing your time and money. You'll learn a lot more by doing IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    OK I am looking forwards to people who actually read books to respond , I'm not seeking advice from idiots
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    Mike

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    • Profile picture of the author s62731
      Originally Posted by mjbmedia View Post

      OK I am looking forwards to people who actually read books to respond , I'm not seeking advice from idiots
      Haha I was reading this thread and couldn't agree more with that.

      Here are some of my favourite books:

      Breakthrough Advertising
      Scientific Advertising
      Great Leads
      Cashvertising
      Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You've Got
      The E-Myth
      Ultimate Sales Machine
      Selling To Zebras
      And a heap more...

      I've learnt to speed read and aim to read 1 book a week.

      Sometimes it might take me 2 weeks when I'm time short.

      I read, and take notes. Try and implement everything I learnt. And then will re-read the books again.

      IMO it's impossible to get everything out of a book by reading it once. Every time you read it you will gain new perspectives, ideas and breakthroughs.

      So here's what to do to get the most out of books....

      Put together an action plan!

      As you read through books, think: "How can I apply this to my business?"

      And then put together an action plan, and take action!

      Information doesn't become knowledge until it creates behaviour change. And for it to change your behaviour you've got to take action.

      So:

      Read.
      Plan.
      Act.
      Repeat.

      Simple as that. If you fail to act on you're action plan, you've got to have a deep hard look at your motivation levels.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        I read business books every day, and have a vast library.

        I take notes in the margins and use a yellow highlighter. If I find and idea that I can use in one of my businesses now, (or a witty turn of phrase I can use when speaking), I put it in a file .

        Then I have a section of my library for books I know I'll go back to again and again. It's a small section. Maybe 5 books on selling, 8 on copywriting, maybe 30 total.

        The rest I keep in categories.

        My library is my most treasured asset. A tad over 2,000 volumes, all nonfiction on sales, marketing, psychology, the brain, and related fields.

        I read a book or two a week.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    I try to only get books or products that are a solution to a knowledge gap I have at the time.

    That way there's no Shiny Object Syndrome.

    Sometimes I read books recommended by friends or experts I follow.

    I read every day, but in short spurts. What I do is find something useful in a book, and go out and USE IT as soon as possible. I try to integrate the new idea into my thinking and approach. Not just "leave it on the shelf."
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    I keep notes separate from the book. I study the book as I read it, trying to gel with where and how it's applicable to me, and how I could apply it.

    As knowledge deepens continually from many sources, I find going back and reviewing books (and notes) again can yield more of an understanding of, or build on, tidbits which I may have interpreted previously a different way or not gotten the full meaning of.
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    • Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      I keep notes separate from the book. I study the book as I read it, trying to gel with where and how it's applicable to me, and how I could apply it.

      As knowledge deepens continually from many sources, I find going back and reviewing books (and notes) again can yield more of an understanding of, or build on, tidbits which I may have interpreted previously a different way or not gotten the full meaning of.
      I'm sort of the same. As you grow over time, often a good book will make more sense, or you'll see it from a different angle, or you are in a new role like going into management, so I like to refer back to different books often. That's one reason the Kindle is so useful and fun. You can look back to any book at any time.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    I don't keep notes, but what I take in usually stays in my brain as long as it sticks out to me. I do have an idea notebook(s) or mastermind sheets of concepts, ideas, or strategies that are inspired by whatever book I'm reading. I honestly don't get much out of most books anymore that are focused on marketing, sales, etc. the best books I've read are "The Prince" and "The Art of War". I mostly read just to stay sharp.
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    • Profile picture of the author anthonyfrye
      When I am reading a new book, I usually take notes on my computer if it is worth me doing so. I like to take notes this way because then I can print them out, put them into my binder of notes, and refer to them anytime I want.

      I usually refer back to my notes before I start doing any business stuff. So if I'm looking to write some ad copy, I'll flip through the notes I have taken over time to refresh my mind really quickly. Maybe find some ideas along the way too.

      ~Anthony
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  • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
    Mike,

    I may be in the minority here, and it can be a pain in the ass because it takes FOREVER to get through a book... but here's what I do.

    By the way, I've been a voracious reader since for the past 20 years.

    I've read so many good books... but I started noticing a trend.

    I would read a book and then just get into the habit of reading it to finish it... and when I finished it, I'd move onto the next book.

    Sure, I'd take notes, use sticky notes and dog ears, but still I found that i didn't go back to actually take action on my notes.

    so here's what I do now, and it can really slow down my reading... but it works out so much better for me.

    when I read a book, and come across something that just "wows" me and I feel it will help me in my business... I put the book down and implement it right then and there.

    No note taking, coming back to it later, or any of that.

    I take action and implement it right then and there.

    That's why, these days, I'll usually read while taking a break from work. I have my book and read it right beside the laptop.

    If I come across something that makes sense and I want to implement it, I'll jump online and do it right then and there.

    THAT fast action usually let's me get results fast, to see if it helped or mattered at all.

    I've found that doing this, there's no chance for procrastination or lack of implementing things.

    I'll read something, and if it's something i want to try, or something that "wows me", i'll implement it right then and there.

    sure, this takes forever to get through books now, but I've found that I'm trying and testing out so many different ideas and techniques...whereas before i'd never get around to them.

    I've gone from 50 books a year, to 20 or so, but have gotten a LOT more out of each one in terms of implementing ideas.
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  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    When reading a book - I usually am looking for a few nuggets I can use. Unless the book is really deep, it isn't likely that everything is new to me. So, I've got my radar on for new ideas.

    I read very quickly until I get to a new idea that I think I can use. Then I slow way down to digest it.

    I used to run into the same problem as you. I would take notes and then later I couldn't figure out how to apply them or why I thought they were profound. I have a new method that really solved that problem for me.

    Instead of taking notes about what the book is saying - I take notes about what I should do with what it is saying.

    When my interest is peaked - I am flowing with ideas and ways I can use the info. So, I write out an action plan right then and there. Later, when I am reading the notes, it doesn't matter if I remember every aspect of what the book said. I have a pretty good plan written out.

    That's all that matters anyway, isn't it?
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  • Profile picture of the author sdentrepreneur
    The E-Myth mentioned earlier changed my life. Once I understood I was a entrepreneur, then everything else made sense in my life. I have been self employed since I was 28, Full Time Internet Marketer since 2007, I highly suggest reading that book if you are unsure about your level of entrepreneurship.
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    • Profile picture of the author Calamaroo
      Business Model Generation

      Breakthrough DNA

      Competitive Strategy

      and books by Peter Drucker
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      • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
        Originally Posted by Calamaroo View Post


        and books by Peter Drucker
        You are the first person who I have heard bring up Drucker anywhere. Everytime I mention him, nobody knows who he is.

        He was a genius. Visionary. Required business reading. Thanks for bringing him up...I need a Drucker refresher. It's been too long.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    Cheers for the responses gents.
    Interesting variety of methods and ideas.

    Personally I read mainly looking for one of two ideas/angles that can make a difference to what and how I am already doing things , small tweaks that add 1% or more to the end results and it all adds up . Also some books deal with much newer platforms , newer ways of delivering certain solutions , a new way of looking at engaging with customers etc , creating experiences that people want to share etc. Plus some of the older classics that just reignite some things that were maybe dwindling in my performances etc.

    I like many of the ideas in your replies though and appreciate your time
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    Mike

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  • Profile picture of the author rocksmith
    There are business books that teach you how to balance your ledger hire the right people and manage your cash flow.
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    [QUOTE=mjbmedia;8605068

    What do you do with the information you glean from business books?[/QUOTE]

    I make a point to find the big idea, whether it be in the preface, introduction
    or parts of the breakdown of it.

    If it hits home then I can normally remember it.

    When the need arises to expand on the idea,
    I can go back to the chapter in the book.

    Having the central theme allows me to tag
    who the author was and easily retrieve fhe details from fhe book.

    Saves time and clutter in my brain.

    Best
    Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew North
    I read between 1 and 2 books a week. I am always learning, improving and implementing the knowledge.

    When I read on Kindle I make sure that I've absorbed the full content of the book on the first go, making use of the bookmark feature for ideas that stand out to me.

    I think that when you read a non-fiction, the ideas that will help you the most will strike you without having to do anything consciously. They will jump out at you automatically, which may be only 20% of the book's content.

    I have about 200 books on sales and marketing, psychology and strategic management since I started my business approx 2 years ago.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnnyG11k
    That's a very wonderful question

    Here are my 2 cents

    When I read a business/spiritual/self-help book I do this:

    *** I try to repeat what I've learned first within my own mind, or maybe writing a post about it, or share it with others.

    Then I implement the info for my life/business. Then I incorporate that into articles and blog comments.

    I like to inspire people, so everything I learn, one way or another reaches that others that either join my list, or buy from me.

    Was this helpful? Do you have any further questions?
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    • Profile picture of the author MohdFikrin
      A few books always tell u similar thing which is good -it tell u the important content

      for me better to make simple mind map for each book

      and have one master mind map to combine all good idea and new idea
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      • Profile picture of the author gearmex
        Knowledge is king, more you read, smarter you will be and be ahead of the game atleast that much!
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  • Profile picture of the author Samuel Adams
    Many print books are now available as Kindle ebooks. I'm wondering how you can make notes from such a book. Maybe there is some type of app that would allow this?
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  • Profile picture of the author Charles Harper
    You could dictate notes to your Android or Iphone and then have the notes transcribed through the dragon speech to text mechanism.

    CT
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  • Profile picture of the author TeamBringIt
    All the classic, sales + advertising + psychology books will help you tons. The knowledge contained in them are as valid today as they were, when they were first published.
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  • Profile picture of the author kaizenninja
    Here's my process:

    *I much prefer audio books, especially if they are narrated by the author, because I feel like the author is just talking to me and teaching me. I feel like Audio books are 3d and books are 2d, so to speak.*

    **I believe that most people read books for the sake of reading books and don't pick up a damn thing.

    In life, most people will tell you after they read a book about 1 or 2 things they picked up. They BARELY scratch the surface. Even very bright and succesful people sometimes do this.

    Books and programs are ways to learn what successful people have done in any aspect you want. ANYTHING you can conceive of. Think of the phrase, damn man, you know so much about X you should write a book about it. Well guess what, you can learn from the people who knew so much about the things that interest you and the areas you want expertise in, that the write a book on it!

    My goal for every worthwhile book or program is to absorb everything worthwhile. I feel that most people read a book to feel accomplished. They focus on the means, not the end result they were really after. People like to tell you how fast they can get through a book or how many books they have read. If you really want to completely absorb everything, read it and listen to it over and over.

    Most people's notes are lumped together, scribbled, and mostly, will never be seen again

    Here's my steps for ultimate retention and incorporation of what you've learned
    1. Write an Objective for what I want to get out of the book, have a learning strategy for the book. Make sure it is worth it to you.

    2. Listen to the Audiobook, this will get you the philosophy from the author.

    3. Read the book, highlight everything worth while.

    4. Read the highlights again

    *Take notes only on the ideas that you generate from steps 2, 3 and 4.

    5. Take notes in Google Drive, categorize by subject and author (this allows me to access and update them any time, any where, which is often necessary because ideas come to me at random times)

    6. Add images & Headings to each major section of notes to sort better through them later. The images will allow you to easily remember, recognize and incorporate what you learned.

    7. Write a review of what you learned in your journal

    8. Write the Action Steps of what you want to incorporate from what you learned, and break it down into the exact steps required, strategize!

    9. Practice what you've learned.

    10. Step away from it for a while, let it seep into your being, changing who you are.

    11. Listen to the audiobook again, read over your higlights again, add any notes and review your notes. Reading over it a second time, you will see it with different eyes, and you will read it with different ears. For example, if you read over the first business book you ever read now, you would probably pick up on many much more advanced things and make many more connections and generate many more ideas, because you formed a new basis for understanding. You built a better frame to build these new concepts and ideas you are trying to incorporate.

    Yes, Im very anal retentive (I totally just realized that reading over my post here, lol) -- but... If you want to be very succesful, you need to do things better than your competitors. Your clients, customers, etc pay you to be an expert at what you do. This is how to become an expert, and in short order.

    Don't just read a book to read the book, absorb it into who you are, milk that ******* thing for all it's worth, every bit of knowledge you can get!
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  • Profile picture of the author spyindianishant
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • I try to take notes about any book I'm reading and put them into specific folder in Evernote, that way they are available wherever I am.
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