A year ago I vowed I would never use Readwise…

How Readwise Became An Indispensable Part Of My Knowledge Management Workflow

Ev Chapman
4 min readMay 31, 2022


I’ve been known to be opinionated about Readwise. In fact, a year ago I wrote an essay titled: Why I Refuse To Use Readwise.

Photo by Hatice Yardım on Unsplash

This is why writing this article surprises me as much as it might surprise you.

I actually don’t have anything against Readwise. It’s highlighting I have a real problem with.

Specifically, thinking you can simply highlight a few passages and use spaced repetition to magically synthesize them into your brain without doing any real thinking. Because for the last 20 years that’s how I had done it. I had a mountain of highlights and clippings but no real knowledge and certainly no original ideas as a result of all that consuming.

So I had to break the habit of highlighting.

Readwise only made the behaviour I wanted to break even easier to do so I resisted using it for a long time. But now I’ve firmly built the habit of taking notes in my own words (rather than just highlighting things) I’ve been enjoying using Readwise as a conduit to get those notes into my writing inbox so I can focus on what matters most — turning those notes into knowledge.

How I Use Readwise To Get Notes Automatically Into My Writing Inbox

Take Notes On Kindle & Matter

When I’m reading books, I use the Kindle app on my phone or iPad. And surprisingly I’ve come to love reading books on my phone. Being able to whip out my phone anytime and pick up where I left off means I read FAR more than having dedicated time to read each day.

When I consume articles, I save them to Matter and then read them on my phone or iPad using the Matter app. If you haven’t met Matter yet, do so. It’s a delightfully new Read it Later app that feels fresh (I especially like shake to shuffle so you don’t lose articles into the black hole of I saved this in 1999 and now it’s at the bottom of the list).

As I’m reading I highlight passages that stand out to me — I call these sparks. And with my newfound note-taking habit I then write a brief…



Ev Chapman

Following my magnificent obsessions 🤩. I write about how to build your personal knowledge & share it with the world.