My personal workflow for fast quality learning

If you are in the situation to absorb news info and to be proficient in a new topic reading loads of material will give you poor result. The way we have been educated to studying is not the optimal; our brain has a contextual meaning structure where each information is related to the others, and any connection strength or weakness is related to the experience that built up that connections. What do you better remember? Only things you feel important to you and gave you a reason to remember them. The key so is to make interesting the work material for which you don’t really feel an interest, but you need (for job or for studying).

At the moment I am combining together several tools, let me know about you experience and suggestions.

The tools

To add new knowledge to what is consolidated in our brain we need to relate new info to the existing ones, that means to add new anchors and connections to what we know, using a mental map, this can be achieved quickly, at the moment I am using this but you can any mind mapping tool you like.

Assuming the majority of the material you have to absorb is on pdf a very good tool is this, any tool that can give you the ability to text mark or edit the pdf content would be good too.

Last but not least a text to voice application that reads aloud the pdf, I am using this

A tomato technique tools here (Have a look to this post too)


The workflow

Tools are useful but needs to be orchestrated to get the most; we don’t want to invest more time that is necessary it isn’t? So let’s be pragmatic and smart (please comment with suggestions or improvements)


  • List your material (the books and chapters) you need to study
  • Create a mind map with high level list and look to define a plan
    • Try to define the constraints to define an optimal order
    • Try to look for duplications
    • Try to details roughly at chapter level to have an idea about the effort necessary

  • Create a mind map for each Book or main content called
    • Try to focus on what you want to achieve, don’t be too tight to the book/material structure but to the contents that are relevant to you



  • Open in voice reader the book and chapter
    • Read it together with the voice reader, this will help
      • to keep going as the voice will push to work
      • to use both channels to remember the contents (you read and listen at the same time)
  • While listening try to mark the pdf with important and relevant info (add notes if you need)
  • Switch to
    • Spend 5 minutes to add what you learnt and most important try to find connections and meanings
    • Update the effort for each task
  • Relax 5 mins every 25 mins of work




In this process you are extracting info, transform the form from the books to your personal way to remember and connects info and load in your memory.


The 2 mind maps are here








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