How to write out book summaries/take-ins

Just recently taken the jump into reading a book a week, and am on the fifth. Note-taking currently consists of highlighting certain paragraphs or phrases then sticky-noting the page for later reference.

I’ve seen mentioned by both Mo and another creator, that they write summaries out on the books they’ve read. It sounds like this considerably increases the amount of take-home info you can actually garner from a book.

My questions are, how do you go about writing out summaries? Do you add notes at the end of a reading block, or after a book has been finished? Do you scrape content directly from the pages, or explain sections in your own words?

Advice on this would be hugely appreciated, I want take home a meaningful amount of knowledge from each read, but also find a balance in avoiding it becoming an unenjoyable almost essay-like experience. I’m sure you can relate!


Cheers guys!

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Ben Smith
2 years ago

I tend to make notes as i go (either in the margins or on post-it’s) and then after each chapter/section (or at the end of the book in smaller books) review the notes and use this to write out some take home points. I don’t tend to “essay” it, so much as collate a list of takings.

Isa Valla
2 years ago

what i do is I highlight inportant passages and add post it notes as well. Then once im done reading i go back and reread the important passages a few times over a few weeks

Alex Demirel
1 year ago

Write all over the book. Make it yours. Don’t worry about the aesthetics of it.

Highlight sections that speak to you, rewrite it in your own words.

Use a notetaking app. I recommend Notion. Pick a day in which you write and organize your book summaries. It can seem arduous, but I’ve found this to be incredibly useful when wanting to cite certain research, quotes from books.


You can easily copy & paste to documents for later use, such as printing out summary booklets of each book.

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