Over the past two months, several people have approached me to find out how I organize my studies. Therefore, I decided to compile a summary of my techniques and methods. I hope you find useful tools here!

Study Method

Firstly, the study method is something very personal. The practices I will mention have been successful for me. The first and most important task is to start developing your method:

  • How often do you want to study?
  • How will you organize knowledge?
  • What type of content engages you the most (books, video lessons, courses, etc)?
  • How much structure do you want to give your studies? Do you function better with detailed planning and deadlines, or do you prefer something more flexible, following the topics that capture your attention at the moment?

I can speak for myself: I study every day, read articles or books whenever possible. I organize my knowledge in notes in Obsidian, using a structure that combines the Zettelkasten method with the PARA method. I vastly prefer written content and do not like making extensive plans; I study what I want, when I want.

Sources of Information

I explain that there are two forms of development: horizontal and vertical.

  • Horizontal development focuses on creating a knowledge base in a universe, covering various topics. This does not imply superficial study but understanding how the topics relate in a context. Depending on the universe, such as in information security, this type of study can be one of the most challenging.
  • Vertical development, on the other hand, focuses on deepening a topic and learning as much as possible about it. The goal is to study as if you wanted to become an expert on that subject.

In your career, it is essential to keep both types of development active. For this, I recommend constantly curating different types of information sources:

  • Newsletters (horizontal): for me, they are the best tool for a technology professional today. I make a continuous selection of the newsletters I subscribe to. When I receive a new publication, I select relevant links, add them to my reading list, and consume them gradually.
  • Feed aggregators (horizontal): sites like Hackersnews and have RSS feeds organized by theme. They work like a social network timeline, with a lot of noise, but occasionally you find useful articles. It is crucial to know how to manage high and low noise sources so that they do not interfere with the efficiency of your consumption.
  • Blogs/Specialized publications (vertical): I prefer to separate these sources from traditional books because they are usually more concise, have more examples and practical exercises, and are more up-to-date than books. Examples include: and
  • Papers (vertical): starting to read academic papers can be challenging, but it is an important step to know the cutting edge of development. The sooner you start, the better.
  • Books and courses (vertical): I generally use them for topics that evolve more slowly, such as algorithms, mathematics, and cryptography. In these areas, you will find excellent publications that are still relevant.

Over time, as you consume content, you will accumulate links, articles, books, tools: all kinds of references. Take good care of this collection, choose a way to organize it, an app, whatever you prefer. This collection will become your garden, from which you will draw inputs to produce knowledge.

However, it is crucial not to fall into the collector’s fallacy, where we simply accumulate piles of materials and are satisfied with that.

Organizing Knowledge

One of my biggest regrets was not starting to keep organized notes earlier! My biggest recommendation here is simplicity. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of optimizing your note structure and being extremely productive (I’ve fallen several times), creating an overly complicated system.

Some things I do to structure knowledge are:

  • Literature Notes: making detailed notes in your own words takes a lot of time, so I created a different type of note called Literature Note. In it, I deposit relevant information from the source of information, sometimes copying directly, other times rewriting.
    • AI Assistant: although the goal is to produce simpler and quicker notes, AI has helped me produce literature notes with the quality of subject notes. I use a prompt that generates a list of questions about the topics covered in the source of information. This has made my literature notes much more efficient. The prompt I use is publicly available: thought_provoking prompt.
  • Subject Notes (Subject/Evergreen notes): these notes are the main character. They have a long life, are updated whenever I learn something new about the subject, and are written in my own words. The most important technique for me here is writing as if I were explaining to someone else.

Applying Your Method

There are still unique challenges during the course of your studies. A recurring question is: I know which subject I want to study, I know what type of study (horizontal or vertical) and I have a curation of sources - how to choose which material to consume? In this case, my method is:

  1. I select material related to the theme that I may have already stored;
  2. I use DORKs to search for material in the newsletters’s archives and feed aggregators.
  3. Then, I dedicate some time navigating among the selected materials, until I find one (or a few) with a good balance between didactic approach and subject coverage.

This ends up leading to a slower start, but in my experience, it pays off, as it gives me the opportunity to select higher quality study materials.

Another common challenge is: how to ask questions about the subject? Currently, LLMs have been of great help to me (as long as you know how to deal with possible hallucinations). Searching for dedicated communities on Reddit often yields good results. However, the best tool is your own collection of materials: look for other materials that may explain the same concept from different perspectives. Eventually, you will put together a puzzle, gaining a much more comprehensive understanding of the subject.


The learning journey is deeply personal and varies from individual to individual. The strategies and methods I have shared reflect my experiences and personal preferences. It’s important to find a balance between absorbing information and creating knowledge, avoiding the trap of just accumulating references.

Remember, the key to effective study is not only in selecting the right materials but also in how you organize and interact with these materials over time. I hope this guide serves as a starting point for you to develop a study method that is as unique and effective as your own learning aspirations and needs.