Freelance copywriters can rarely avoid being a jack-of-all-trades. No sooner are your articles for STEM project finished than you get a task to write about a basket gift business. Of course, you can have an expertise in a few fields, find regular customers that provide you with work for years, but you must be really, really lucky.
In order to be conversant in the information flow and find links between various aspects, copywriters need to read a lot. But here is a question: how to memorize everything? From time to time, you probably face a problem when you know for sure you have already heard about something, but cannot recall what exactly and where to find it. It is pretty normal; however, you hardly want to make a research from the scratch, given you have already spent time on absorbing this information earlier.
There is no need to make a library out of your brain to remember everything you might need to use someday. Consider alternatives.
1. Take notes
Sounds too obvious, right? That is the reason why this method is often ignored. We are lazy enough to grab a few seconds and highlight an interesting statement. However, try to develop this habit, as it is a great time-saver. If you are not sure whether something is worth remembering or not, add the whole page to your bookmarks, get back to it later and look for the idea that seemed interesting to you. If you manage to find it, take a note, if not – it was not worth it.
If you read books in different formats, it is difficult to keep your notes in one place and as a result, it is easy to lose interesting ideas in a mess. Try to optimize the process of taking notes. Write them down in one notebook or use special note-taking apps.
This method not only gives you a possibility to keep the necessary information, but also makes you remember it even without reading your notes.
2. Create thematic folders on your computer
While reading books or articles, copy useful fragments from them into special folders (for example, Marketing, Programming, Medicine, Culinary and so on). This will help you to sort out the incoming information, so you can easily find it when needed. When you create folders on your computer, you launch the same process in your brain. You will be surprised to find out that you remember the file contents, because you have it duplicated in your memory.
3. Write a summary for each book or article you read
Writing summaries helps you to structure information and makes it easily storable. You can also add your thoughts about how your new knowledge may come in handy.
If you do not have enough time for creating a summary, write down at least 10 most important ideas you got from a book or an article. Sometimes it is difficult to convince yourself that you can find so many. In this case, you can imagine yourself playing a game about an investigator whose aim is to reveal 10 thoughts hidden by an insidious author.
4. “Tell a friend” method
It is the most simple and pleasant way to move information from the short-term to the long-term memory. Discuss what you have read with other people. It can also make you see some ideas from a different angle.
5. Give yourself five-minute breaks while reading
In order to absorb information efficiently and consciously (which is essential for remembering it), you need to give yourself a break (it is also good for your eyes.) While having a rest you can analyze what you have read, and monitor your own thoughts. Imagine what other people you know may think about a particular fragment or make up your own stories based on it. Create a link between ideas, characters, or events you read about and your real life.
6. It’s time for blogging
Blogging about what you read is very useful for remembering new information. Why? Thanks to it, you make additional effort when trying to comprehend it and express your thoughts clearly.
There are several platforms that allow you to run a blog for free. If you think it does not pay off, consider providing writing assistance, creating content for websites in exchange for payment or getting exposure as a writer, or widening your network of contacts by taking part in writing contests. This way you can kill two birds with one stone.
7.Set aside time for reading fiction
How does it help to memorize potentially work-related information? It gets you out from your reader’s comfort zone. The thing is our brain is like a separate organism. It needs to be developed harmoniously in order to be strong.
Working on your abs does not have a direct impact on your leg muscles, but still, it helps you to boost your endurance and run longer distances. That’s how it works with your brain too. It needs to be fed with information of various types to be flexible.
A flexible brain gives you a number of advantages. Firstly, it can store much information, and that is your goal. Besides, you get a special bonus from reading fiction. It also broadens your horizons, lets you develop new templates for your creative writing and avoid a writer’s block. When talking about Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, Gabriel Garcia Marquez said, "When I read the line I thought to myself that I didn't know anyone was allowed to write things like that. If I had known, I would have started writing a long time ago. So I immediately started writing short stories." It would be great if you also manage to find a book that will inspire you to experiment.
Consider such additional efforts as an investment, even though at first they may seem to be time consumers. By collecting useful information and storing it properly, you can significantly facilitate your work and save a lot of time for other things.
Author's bio: David Neff has been working in the educational services sector for more than ten years. Now he is responsible for edtech products promotion and also writes for several websites including WriteMyPapers.