How do you keep track of what you're reading?

jnschrag profile image Jacque Schrag ・1 min read

One of my New Year's resolutions was to try and take better notes on the various articles and books that I read related to development. I'm one of those people that needs to write things down if I'm going to remember it later. With so much helpful content being written on a regular basis, it can get overwhelming keeping track of what I've read and what the key points I want to remember were.

My current solution is to use Boostnote as a note taking app. Every day, I create a new note and post the links and my summaries of the articles for that day, tagged according to the topics.

How do you keep track of what you've read? Tools, methods, etc.?

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Jacque Schrag


I’m a web developer & data visualizer working at a think tank in D.C. I'm a self-taught dev trying to better my skills. I spend most of my time on the front end of the stack.


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I tried using digital note taking (apps and tabs and what not) but I keep going back to carrying a notebook with me and writing it down. It seems like, once I've written down points which I believe to be main from an article, I remember it and generally don't forget it. I may need to revisit it someday (I have revisited obviously) but I will always have some idea on what I've read.


I've also got a notebook that I carry around with me and I use to take notes more broadly. I find pen & paper to be my most useful note-taking tool by far, but I run into issues when I'm reading something on my phone when I'm out and about and don't have my notebook with me, or when I want to take note of a specific code or more technical concepts that are cumbersome to write down by hand.


In such cases, I tend to save the article to Pocket. Then on weekends when I'm reading from Pocket I write down the notes. Revises the knowledge.


I have tried to use OneNote several times, and I just don't stick with it for whatever reason. I think it has the potential to be amazing, but I just can't get in the habit.

I did create a Trello board with a TODO: list of articles to read, IN PROGRESS, and COMPLETE.

As far as taking notes for the articles, why I just write on random scraps of paper I find lying around. It's super efficient.


Couple ways—for digital articles, I create boards in Feedly to collect certain types of content (e.g. "Best Reads July 2018," "On Writing"). You can paste in a URL from anywhere on the web, and it'll clip it into your collection. This comes in handy for me because every month my company sends out a newsletter of interesting things employees have read, so then I can remember what I wanted to contribute!

I also log my physical book/ebook reading progress really heavily on Goodreads (although I'm experimenting with transitioning to Libib, which I have fewer data privacy concerns about). I really like the ability to log what page/percentage I'm at against time, and the fact that it integrates really well with my Kindle is nice.


It depends on how interested I am, When I plan to read it and whether I need to save it as a reference.

For reading later I generally just email it to myself. I have GMail so I can sort the emails based on keywords in the title.

If I want to save it as a reference I clip the article to Evernote which also has filtering using notebooks.


Boostnote looks really cool! Great recommendation, definitely going to check it out. Always looking for Markdown and code friendly editors.

I recently had a meltdown on my Mac that caused me to lose a lot of application specific data, so I've been on the hunt for cloud-based solutions to backup my work to.

I currently use (and loathe) Evernote. It's a love/hate. I love how easy it is to save snippets anywhere to a cloud, I hate their app. It's buggy and doesn't load half the time. And it doesn't support Markdown or code snippets. But it's hard to find another cloud-based alternative that I prefer.

For code snippets I'm constantly saving things to Github's Gist service. I've been looking for another cloud-based solutions for snippets that's a bit easier to navigate though.

For more data-centric notes that fair better in a tabular format, I use Airtable. It's been a fantastic way to take data and create different "views" to visualize data (like a Calendar view for my blog article table -- or relational views to compare two tables).


I use Bear to manage my digital notes and I have few separate notes to keep track of the articles / courses that I've read and follow. One note to accumulate all the articles and sectioned it using Markdown headings, a little bit similar to ItsASine's gist, and each note for each course I'm learning e.g. GraphQL, keeping track of hundreds of Ruby screencasts etc.


Well, notes and papers always are the best. It makes me more memorable, can easy to remember everything. But now I'm trying to use Boostnote too, but I can not tranfer what I wrote into another OS, and that's so pity.


I've started keeping a GitHub repo of my bookmarks and notes, though I still need to flesh out the notes some more.


ItsASine / resources

Notated and organized personal bookmarks, open sourced

Table of Contents



I have a habit of accumulating things to read which never actually get read.
To combat this, I went through and actually read everything that I wanted to at some point in time with the goal to open-source the knowledge gained from it.


  1. I highly suggest using your browser's search box to navigate to where you want to go
  2. Please click through to the original article or project to see it from the source if you find it interesting! This is very much just a cursory ELI5 of each link mostly to have them all in one place
  3. Let me know if this is helpful 😘

Build Process

This is built using GitHub Pages and Jekyll, though the original lists are in my GitLab Snippets.

It's mainly dev.to links and Medium links, though I have a snippet of more dev.to articles and a ton of GitHub repos to add to it after I do write-ups.


That is a really great repo! I have the same problem as you said in your opening statement in the README - I've accumulated so many articles that I want to read, but don't ever actually sit and read them. My notes are written in markdown now, I wonder how difficult it would be to write a script to export them into a repo like this so I can access it even when I don't have access to my note-taking app.


My main motivation for using Markdown was to use something like Gitlab snippets to have it available all the time on all devices :)

The repo motivated me to get my dev.to Reading List from 140 down to 0, so I recommend it!


In an attempt to break the cycle, I will first look at the length of the article. If I think I can read it in 5 minutes, I read it right away. That's been helping, but I still have a crazy backlog.


Hi Jacque

I use Toby for Chrome to keep tabs on my tabs and categorize them.