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  • Writer's pictureMolly McTernan

Annotating 101: My Four Favorite Methods

Photo credit to Thought Catalog on Unsplash.


Today, I want to talk about something that I haven't before: annotating. If you're not sure what it is, annotating a book basically means to make comments or notes about what you're reading. It's a way to interact with the text, and it really adds to the experience.

Now, there are many ways that you can go about this (different supplies or intensities of markings etc.), and because of that, I wanted to try out a few methods and then share about them below.* I know that it can seem scary to try it at first, and you do not need to always annotate what you read, but I do believe that there is benefit in doing it occasionally.

Personally, I have gained a lot more understanding from annotating one of my Bibles because the act of writing down verses and underlining things that stick really help me to remember and take in everything more.

I hope you enjoy this post and I'd also love to hear back from you in the comments! Have you ever tried annotating?


  • Method 1 - Creaseless

I wanted to start out with my favorite method. As the name suggests, this method does no damage to your book. In fact, all notes and marking are done in a separate journal! I love having a notebook where I can write done quotes, thoughts, and ratings and I highly recommend that every reader keeps one. This way of annotating works very well for any sort of book!

  • Method 2 - Caring

This method is one that focuses not only on learning and interacting with text, but also with everything looking nice. What I mean by that is that any tabbing or highlighting is done in colors that look good together and fit the book's theme (for example, in a romance, you'd use all pinks and reds). This method works very well with classics or newer copies!

  • Method 3 - Careful

The careful method is one that has a lot of annotating, but minimal permanent markings. The tabs aren't necessarily color coded, but all highlights are done in light colors and all notes are written on sticky notes stuck directly on the pages. As this allows you to interact with the text a lot but also not get too distracted about looks, I find that it is perfect for non-fiction!

  • Method 4 - Careless

And now, our last way that I annotate: carelessly. This basically means that you go all out in your book. You tab pages, you highlight anything that sticks out, you even write thoughts and underline quotes directly in the novel! Because you're focusing on learning and not look, this method works best for cheap or used copies!

*A note is that I made up the four names I shared about above - while these separate ways are used, they aren't necessarily called one thing or another.

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Apr 13

Literally THIS morning I was wanting to research about annotation, since I've never tried it before. This is so helpful!! 💚

Apr 15
Replying to

Ooo I'll definitely check that out! Thanks Molly!

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