Updated: Feb 12
Reading - The SINCH Method
In late 2020, I realised that the more I ramped up my reading, the more I was flying through page flags, and also the more I had to vaguely recall which book had really important and fascinating page flags or simply just interesting ones. I needed to vaguely track this so I knew which books were worth looking back into a year or so later, or for reference when needed.
From this is decided that the easiest way to track the meaning behind page flags was to categorize them. So I came up with a method using the 5 coloured page flag pack I’d bought from Officeworks that day.
The method follows an acronym for easy reference and recollection. Each of the 5 colours corresponds to a category, and a letter from the acronym. After many hours and stuffing about trying to find an acronym that made sense using the words I preferred, I finally came to the creation of the SINCH method; sinch because its easy; and because I'd somehow spelt cinch incorrectly my whole life (Latin origin word).
Here are the categories explained:
The ‘S’ is to flag information that gave you a feeling of Self-awareness, Self-enlightenment, Self-consciousness, or as the Japanese say, 悟り (Satori), ‘the feeling of suddenly seeing one’s true nature’. When you’re reading something and it gives you a sudden insight into something that you currently do, a behaviour, a way of thinking, a situation you’re in, or a part of your personality that you hadn't ever noticed before. The ‘S’ is to indicate a page that helped you discover a new piece of yourself.
This flag is to indicate generally interesting stuff, things that don’t really apply to the other categories, yet it’s still something worth flagging for later use. The ‘I’ stands for interesting, or Intriguing.
The ‘N’ is a very useful one, it’s for flagging things that just don’t make sense right now. Stuff that causes cognitive dissonance, friction in your thoughts, or things that are simply above your current knowledge or skill-set. Also useful for things that make *some* sense right now, but you feel they will be better understood or applied, at a later period of your life. The ‘N’ stands for Next year, or stuff that you’re too Narrow-minded to understand right now. I use ‘N’ as a flag that I need to re-read this page next year.
Condensed information: Charts, Concepts, Checklists. This flag is used for the pages with a lot of info packed into it, such as summaries, graphs, charts, lists, or concept and chapter summaries. Pages where the idea/s have been condensed for quick understanding. Usually you can gloss over the stuff on these pages and quickly recall the concepts within the whole book or chapter. Very useful for recalling concepts, frameworks or ideas from a book!
Finally we have ‘H’. Personally this is my favourite flag to use. It was the ‘S’ and the ‘H’ letters I would not forfeit when trying to find an acronym. The ‘H’ flag is used on pages that behold a nugget of pure gold, the pages that are equipped with a mind-bomb. This flag is used for pages that really alter your way of thinking. Often this is the page that links all the other pages together, or a sentence that suddenly links many different ideas together in a new way - often old or seemingly unrelated ideas. It rapidly solidifies your understanding.
The page that makes you stop, look up off the page, into the distance, and say “...Huh…” with an equally puzzled yet elated expression of deep thought. Thus, H is for "huh".
To summarise my method: (use the C flag here)
Page Flagging System
N. Next year.
Using the 5 colour page flag pack I bought, these are the colours I used. Intentionally using Green for the pages that gave me the most growth, and Yellow because I fly through this colour, and it’s easy to find 5 packs of just yellow to refill the coloured pack.
Pink S - self knowledge, consciousness, self-awareness & enlightenment
Yellow I - basic highlighted pages, generally interesting
Orange N - beyond current abilities, cognitive dissonance & friction, read next year
Blue C - charts, graphs & summaries, lists
Green H - stuff that made me go “huh...”
Here's the 5 pack I use for the SINCH method: