What I’ve Learnt About Intentional Reading.

How I’m tweaking my system for improved retention and retrievability.

Julie Kenny
5 min readAug 15


Authors Notion Book Notes

I have been reading with intention since the beginning of the year. I am doing this because I want to remember what I read and if I can, what I got from the book. Now what do I mean by reading with intention?

To read books that will help me grow and develop in any area of my life. (Where had this happened?) To apply, recall, and share what I have learnt from my reading.

As I wrote in an earlier post (It turns out I’ve been reading incorrectly), I needed to change my approach in order to do this. I have refined my system further, and I now do two more activities as a part of this process.

I still do the following:

  • Slow down — It’s not a race. I can read every word.
  • Pre-game — Skim the chapter for key learning points, then read the chapter.
  • Select quotes — Take the words that resonate at the moment.

But here’s where I’ve made some tweaks.

  • Highlight
  • Paraphrase


When I last wrote, I shared that I wasn’t comfortable with highlighting text. Instead, I would copy and paste when I find text that resonates. This proved to be too time-consuming.

Now I highlight in the book and collect my highlights at the end of the chapter. I read through them again, and sometimes I’ll shorten or lengthen the selected text based on this re-read.

Doing this helps me to be more intentional about why I’ve selected the text and what I may choose to do with it later.


When I finish the book, I fill in the top section of my notion template. (See diagram below.)

Authors Notion Book Notes

This helps me to reflect on the book and identify the key concepts or changes in my life that reading the book has achieved.



Julie Kenny

Writer | Executive Coach and Trainer | Triathlete | Mother | visit me at https://www.garnettrainingandconsultancy.com/