People Innovation Excellence

The Seven Levels of Note Taking.

The Seven Levels of Note Taking.

Reading is an important key to development. However, if you just read a book without considering the content and identifying the important points to you, then you might as well have not read it. In other words, there’s no point reading books, putting them away and forgetting everything that they tell you. This video introduces you to a system for taking notes on what you read. It is based on 7 different levels, which I summarise below. Ali uses Harry Potter terms to describe these levels. I’m not exactly sure why! Presumably it is because he is a Harry Potter fan! Here is the summary:

  1. The Muggle. Simply reading. At this level the reader is hoping to passively absorb information.
  2. The Squib. At this level the reader is highlighting and underlining information that is important to you.
  3. Hufflepuff: Highlighting does not workl. You need to go further. This level is to create a systematic system for remembering information. Ali suggests a service called Readwise, which will collate all your highlights from Kindle. This is worth looking at – I have tried it and I am impressed so far!
  4. Raven claw: Nopw that you have reviewed your highlights, this level is where you collect highlights in one central place. You will need a note taking application for this such as OneNote, Evernote or Notion.
  5. Dumbeldore’s army: This is where the reader writes their own notes and observations about the book that has been read. It involves interacting and considering the text.
  6. The order of the Phoenix: This level is very similar to level 5 and involves creating  a summary & notes on the book.
  7. Dumbledore: The final level is where you organise all your notes from reading into your own library of topics so that you can discuss and write about one topic using various sources.

You can view the video here:


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