How I learn

Learning is dependent on two main things: getting input and processing and internalizing that input. The more important part of the equation in processing and internalizing, because that's when the knowledge becomes yours.

Getting input can come from different sources, and in many ways the more diverse the better. Facebook's algorithm surfaces news, and despite the controversy around fake news, my main problem with Facebook is that your news is limited to what your friends read and share. LinkedIn can be good but quasi-business related, and I tend to find Facebook to be broader and more interesting. Twitter has ceased to be a newsreader for me, so I use Nuzzel to filter out Twitter news. Medium is also a good source of informative pieces and opinions. I tend not to read paper news since that information are not fast moving enough.

Long form reads is another way to gather input. However, I find long form more suited to perspectives that really change my mind on something or give me a view of a personality (like an autobiography). I tend not to read that much long form usually, but I do tend to process long form well in batches - like if I go on an extended trip I carry e-books with me.

Reading is just one tactic of getting input, but there are many others. Having high quality conversations is one, where the input is something new or pushes your thinking. Observation is another, where you are observing a new phenomena or way of doing or thinking. Travel, art, and movies are all great inputs.

At the end of the day though, internalizing that input is the key. If that input is unprocessed, it remains just useless knowledge. If processed effectively, that knowledge is yours as part of your future decision-making processes.

Internalization of inputs for me work best if I write something. For example, my blog posts are a way to internalize lessons or thoughts from yesterday. When I read short form, I tweet and write a snippet of the highlight of what I've learned. When I read long form, I take notes on the margins of the book to process.

Everyone will have different internalization methods but most I've seen involve some sort of writing. I think it has something to do with taking the time to craft a learning into your own words that makes it yours.