• Look up college course reading lists.
  • Find the top performers in the field and study them.
  • Take advantage of resources provided by public and university libraries in your area, such as free access to and academic databases.
  • Use a service like Beeminder or StickK to commit to putting in the effort.
  • Have a public place where you publish regular updates on your progress. (Beemind this, too!)
  • Take and publish notes.

Incremental Reading

Ranking Criteria

Rank potential topics based on criteria
  • Practical. Will what I learn be immediately applicable?
  • Forward-looking. Will what I learn move me towards the work I want to be doing in the future?
  • Valuable. Will people pay me to do what I learn?
  • Synergetic. Will what I learn complement what I already know?


  • Clear goals
    • What do I want to be able to do by the end of each course of self-study? Make it concrete and measurable.
  • Study the experts
    • Most influential books on the topic
    • Material by the most influential experts on the topic
    • Material used in the best courses on the topic
  • Capture
    • Take notes on reading
  • Accountability
    • Create Beeminder goals specific to the current course of self-study
    • Post updates to a thread on the Beeminder forum
  • Deliverables
    • Course outline
    • Reading notes
    • Chapter summaries
    • Book summaries
    • Final project


Anki - "Powerful, intelligent flash cards. Remembering things just became much easier."
RemNote - "Organize your thinking. Master your craft. Grow your knowledge."
Thought Saver - "Learn. Remember. Instantly create flashcards from anything interesting that you hear or read online. Receive quick, automated quizzes so that you never forget important ideas. Quickly discover new, fascinating and life changing ideas you've never seen before!"


  • Brilliant - "Math and science done right. Master key ideas in math, science, and computer science through problem solving."
  • GoodReads
  • Project Gutenberg - "Project Gutenberg is a library of over 60,000 free eBooks. Choose among free epub and Kindle eBooks, download them or read them online. You will find the world's great literature here, with focus on older works for which U.S. copyright has expired. Thousands of volunteers digitized and diligently proofread the eBooks, for enjoyment and education."
  • SkillShare - "Thousands of classes to fuel your creativity and career."
  • Zenva Academy - "Trusted by 400,000+ learners and developers, Zenva provides world-class training on in-demand programming skills."


Knowt #app #webapp - "An app that uses machine learning to automatically turn your notes into review quizzes." #ios #android