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Should You STOP Highlighting Text Content as Busy Professional?


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In a recent video by the Paperless Movement®, Tom Solid and Paco Cantero, Co-Founder of the Paperless Movement®, delve into the intricacies of content consumption, highlighting, and processing information in the digital age.

The Purpose of Highlighting

The discussion begins by addressing the fundamental question of why we highlight information. Paco emphasizes the importance of understanding the purpose behind highlighting, which ranges from capturing inspiring information to taking action on resonant content. He advises against excessive highlighting, suggesting that we focus on content that truly requires action.

The Pleasure of Highlighting

Tom and Paco then explore the pleasure derived from highlighting, acknowledging it as an active engagement in a typically passive activity like reading. However, they warn against highlighting for the sake of it, as this can lead to an overload of information with little contextual relevance.

The Wrong Approach to Highlighting

Paco candidly shares his journey of realizing the pitfalls of unstructured highlighting. He suggests a more strategic approach, where one pauses their reading to consider the necessity of action on the highlighted content. This method is more about understanding the ‘why’ behind the highlight rather than indiscriminately marking text.

The Process of Consuming Content

They then discuss the process of content consumption. Paco elaborates on using Tana as his shallow thinking system and creating workflows to process content effectively. By tagging and prioritizing content, he ensures a structured approach to consuming and acting upon information.

The Role of Readwise in Content Consumption

Readwise’s role in content consumption is also highlighted. The platform helps in revisiting content periodically, aiding in consolidating knowledge through spaced repetition. Paco shares his routine of dedicating time each day to review Readwise highlights, which reinforces learning and promotes serendipitous rediscovery of content.

The Importance of Routines in Content Consumption

Tom emphasizes the significance of routines in managing various inboxes, whether it be in Tana, Heptabase, or other systems. He recommends having a checklist for daily processing of content across different platforms, ensuring that nothing important is missed and reducing the feeling of being overwhelmed.

The Benefits of Inboxes in Content Consumption

The conversation shifts to the benefits of having structured inboxes for different types of content. Paco speaks about setting priorities for his inboxes and the flexibility it offers in managing time and content efficiently. He stresses the importance of being conscious of one’s limitations and not feeling guilty about unprocessed content.

The discussion concludes with Tom and Paco looking forward to further exploring the integration of different productivity tools and techniques throughout the year. They invite busy professionals to join the Paperless Movement® Membership to master Personal Knowledge Management and overall productivity skills. Learn more at Paperless Movement® Membership.

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