The Learning Workflow I Use to Save My Sanity

The learning workflow I use to save my sanity

We all have to keep up with reading (and implementing) the latest tips and strategies in our field. It doesn’t matter what it is, we need to keep learning. 

For me, that’s learning more and more about business. 

The problem is that there is so much information out there that it can be incredibly overwhelming. So out of necessity, I created a learning workflow that streamlines that part of my business.

Watch this video or read the steps below to see how I've implemented this system to save me from "learning overwhelm."

Here are the steps I take to make learning easier, less overwhelming, and more enjoyable. 

I hope you find some nuggets in this learning workflow to use in your own business. 

Step 1: Collect Your Material

I'm on quite a few email newsletter lists that have to do with business, but I can't read them all. So, I send them to my Evernote account. 

I use Evernote because it can handle the number of emails and blog articles that I throw at it. I tried using Microsoft OneNote, but it just couldn't handle the volume. It got really bogged down. 

For email newsletters that contain the information within the email itself (doesn't link out to a blog article), my email app, Spark, allows me to send the entire email to Evernote. Once that's done, I just delete the email. 

For email newsletters that don't contain all the info and have a link out to a blog post, I go out to the blog article and use the Evernote Chrome Extension to save it to Evernote. 

I've set up Evernote to include stacks that match the categories in my field. As a business coach, they look like this...

The A stands for articles. I also have B for books and C for courses. The numbers are just a way to get Evernote to sort the way I want it to since it doesn't allow for manual sorting. 

When I’m ready to study a topic, I've got source material to start with and I'm ready to move on to the next step.

Step 2: Create a Framework

I first look for an article that is a good overview of the topic, such as the one I use in the video "How to Do Market Research: A 5-Step Guide."

I go in knowing that I want to create a visual map of the material, so before diving in and reading any of the articles, I’ll look at all the headers and subheads first in each of them and create an outline, starting with the overview article first, if possible. 

The idea behind this is if I can create a framework "on paper" and in my head of the topic before diving in, I'll have a better chance of retaining the information and using it later.

If I create a visual map in my head and on paper first before I start diving in deep, the rest of the information will have something to hang on to. Having a bunch of material ready is great for that. Otherwise, it’s just random bits of info.

To create the visual map, you can use mind mapping software like I do in the video, or you can just use an app that lets you create an outline. It just depends on what works for you. 

My favorite are mind maps that can be turned into outlines, that can then be turned into articles and other content. 

Here's a screenshot of the mind map I show in the video...

Once you've created a visual map from all the articles in your collection, you should have a solid understanding of the topic already. 

However, if not, then you can move on to the next step...

Step 3: Gather more material, if needed

If there are gaps in the framework still, you can go out and use other sources such as BuzzSumo, Feedly, and even Google to fill in the rest. 

Once you feel like you've got a solid framework in place with no real gaps, now you're ready to dive in deep and start reading the articles. 

All those new bits of info will automatically be put in the right place in the framework, and you'll be pretty knowledgeable on that topic in no time. 

Note: if this is a topic that you'll need to understand at it's deepest level, then you would also want to include books and courses to make sure that your knowledge is rounded out and deep. 

But for most of the purposes in business, collections of articles should be just fine. 

I hope you found this article useful. And I hope it helps you keep your sanity when it comes to keeping up with your field. 

With love & joy,

ps. If you have any learning tips of your own, I'd love to hear about them. Please share in the comments below.


About the Author Selena Tramayne

Selena Tramayne, Ph.D. is the founder of The Tramayne Group, which provides programs and coaching services to benefit new and emerging coaches. She runs online masterminds and group coaching, as well as provides one-on-one consulting to amazing coaches who want to take their business to the next level. When not working in and on her business, she can be found hiking, mountain biking, and going on bliss walks near her home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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