How do you synthesize what you learn?

I have a few areas that I'm focusing on developing my professional subject matter expertise in, to become more of an expert in my field. What I'd love to hear are any methods or tools you use to synthesize what you learn, going beyond note-taking.

I like to consume information from articles, podcast, webinars, and courses. Thanks, elphas!

Could you elaborate on what you mean by synthesize? As in, are you looking to summarize what you learn, generate something new from it, etc?
Sure! I think at first, really learn the topic matter well, and then second, generating insights, and applying it to my work. To be more specific, I find a lot of my learning coming from disparate sources and I'm trying to connect the dots!
Makes sense! I know some people use Obsidian to organize their sources into "knowledge nodes," to help them identify patterns in the content they consume as well as gather content related to topics they care about. I've personally found it most useful to discuss what I read with people who've read it too. For books, I can usually find someone who's also read what I've read. For shorter form content like articles or podcasts, I tend to share them with specific people and hope that they have time to consume it too haha.
Have you heard of rewind? I feel like you might like it?
Interesting! I'm not a Mac user but will keep in mind
Oh dammit! They are iOs only atm, they will be launching in other OS too! Sorry should have not assumed
All of my synthesizing mostly revoles a around note taking and voice recording; You can couple it with explaining it to others (Mostly on LI), flash cards, or doing a mind map (It's fun to get a big piece of paper and connect the dots, so to speak)You already know about note taking, but I write about it; What it is, what uses I can possibly find for it. I also link to other articles that have helped me. This often comes while doing hands-on work, such a testing. You don't have to make it public (I do, and it helps others as well: Don't get too caught up in how it sounds
good old fashion journaling with pen and paper. The act of writing activates the creative part of your brain (where typing is more executive functioning) and often helps me connect dots, have interesting realizations, etc. about what I'm learning. I like to set aside time each week to just write (I like to use colored pencils or markers to make it more fun) about whatever I've been learning about without any agenda. I just write what comes to me and let myself free think on the subject by writing on the page to see what happens. It's my most effective synthesis tool.
Love this. Good reminder that it doesn't have to be high tech to be high value :)
I learned so much about learning styles when I went back to school to become a PA. Plain old note taking wasn’t cutting it for me. One thing I learned that has helped is using as many of your senses as possible when learning. So making a visual from the information, listening to the information, talking to someone else to reach them the information, and if possible, actually doing the information yourself with your hands (buying a trial of a new software and building something from scratch yourself, just as an example)
Thank you for the ideas! I do think I'm lacking on the talking to others to "teach" them what I've learned is one of my missing pieces. I need to do this, even if I need to record myself and talk to myself :)
One of the absolute best things I ever did was to take a free MOOC called “Learning how to Learn” by Barbara Oakley. It turned my thinking upside down in an amazing way. It talks about the latest is neuroscience and how the brain actually works. It’s honestly eye opening and all parents and teachers should help children figure this out. Go to her website and look for the free courses. Learning how to learn. And learning like a pro (Only takes 2 hours - broken into about 12 small videos). She also has done TED talks.
Amazing! This sounds useful and really interesting. Thank you for sharing, will definitely check it out.
Thank you for this recommendation. I signed up for her newsletter. I get lot of content that way as well. I'm motivated to read one of her books...
I like to watch webinars as well as short-form content and integrate the information I learned into everyday work life. I will also put sticky notes in my planner if I want to work on a specific topic.
I'm using Notion to store info, write notes and comments, and plan them based on projects. I found it helpful to put any piece of content in a bucket, associated with a project I'm working on. And I try to keep the focus on those projects because there are always collaterals that seem interesting.I don't know if you're already familiar with the concept of Building a second brain (, there's also a book about it), it gives all the framework on s saving the data you interact with. However it can become a bit too much work, so I recommend adapting it to your personal habits.