You’ve probably heard lots of people and influencers recommend listening to audio books. Whether on Amazon’s Audible app or from your local library, audiobooks are very helpful ways to learn new things and even learn more about God as you go about your day.
But as you know, they are all audible. And that is helpful for learning on the go, but sometimes only listening to something makes it harder to remember what you’ve listened to and what you are learning. This is the problem I have had again and again. I listen and listen, love what I’m hearing. But then I wouldn’t be able to remember what it was that I loved!
So, here are my top tips for listening, learning, and remembering with audio books.
1. Only Multitask with Mindless Jobs
I cannot take sole credit for this tip. It’s actually one that I learned from Jordan Page (you can read her blog here). But the idea is simple. You only multitask (do two things at the same time) with mindless tasks.
So, for example, pair putting away the dishes with listening to an audio book. Because you don’t have to think much about putting away the dishes (you know where they all go!), you have the brain space to think about what you’re listening to.
Save your audio books (or sermons or podcasts) for those tasks that do not require much brain power. Whether you are vacuuming, washing dishes, or cleaning up your bedroom, you can use your time doing a mindless task to learn and be encouraged by what you listen to.
2. Use EarBuds (When Possible)
Now that you know WHEN to listen to your audio books, here is a tip for HOW you listen to them: use your earbuds.
As a mom, this may not always be possible. There are times when your kids are helping you with your tasks or you are watching them while simultaneously working and listening. So, use your discretion. But if you are able to, use your earbuds (which, I just learned that that is one word, ha!).
For me, I am often washing the dishes while my husband is giving our daughter a bath, this is a perfect time for me to plug in those earbuds and really focus on what I’m listening to while I wash.
I think having the opportunity to cancel out what’s going on around you really helps to retain the knowledge from the books you are listening to and, therefore, helps you learn.
3. Take Screenshots
I’ve saved my BEST tip for last: take screenshots. Figure out how to quickly take a screenshot on your phone (it’s usually a combination of the outside buttons). Then take a screenshot when you hear something you want to remember. Maybe a quotable line, a tip that you want to use later, or a salient, heart-wrenching point. Make sure that you can see that little timer on your screen before you take the shot.
Here is an example.
Now, why do this? Because as you are listening, and most likely working at the same time, it’s very hard to stop what you’re doing and write down that whole quote or line. But because you now have a picture of where that quote is in the book, you can go back and listen to that part again later. Even better, you can go back later and type/write out the quote you wanted to remember so that you won’t forget it.
I have started doing this every time I’m listening to an audiobook! It’s really helped me remember what I’m listening to and apply it later. I have usually waited ‘til I’m done with the entire book and then go back to type out the quotes. It’s a great way to remember and to re-read the book in a sense. And doing this will help you see just how good the book is because you’ll see just how many screenshots you took!
Start a Book Today!
So those are my top three tips that I’ve found really help me remember what I’m learning through my audiobooks. If you’d like to start today, you can subscribe to Audible here. I have really enjoyed listening to audiobooks through my local library (here’s the link if you’re in LA). Check and see if your library has this option. I’ve had to wait in line for a couple books, but I’ve also found really good ones that I could listen to right away. And, my library has lots of Christian literature, which is a great option as well.
Do you listen to audiobooks? Let me know your favorite one in the comments!
A Few Books I’ve Listened to Recently:
This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure here.