Why You Need a Resonance Matrix

I used to be a prolific reader. Between physical and digital books as well as audio versions it wasn’t a stretch for me to consume multiple books in a month. I’m not talking about Blinklist-summarized consumption. I mean, reading the books in their entirety. I read so much because not only did I find reading relaxing but I also bought into the idea that learning, via books, is critical to a person’s success.

I have never really stopped reading. But I did slow down a few years back. Like a lot of people I started to enjoy shorter forms of content such as podcasts. But this year, 2021, I’ve decided to get back to reading at least one book per month. My wife has even said she plans to do the same. Albeit, we will be reading different books. I use to read a ton of science-fiction. But in the last ten years I’ve been more of a business book kind of guy. While she likes suspenseful books.

It can be easy to read for the sake of reading. For me, reading a book without really putting some of the lessons from the book into practice is a waste of time and energy. Unless you are reading strictly for relaxation. But I would argue that even then you should be learning something from the effort.

When you read a lot of books, or consume a lot of content for that matter, it can be hard to remember the lessons you uncovered along the way. That is why I have started keeping a Resonance Matrix.

What is a Resonance Matrix

A Resonance Matrix is a file where you can track all of the content that you consume. I use my Resonance Matrix to track all of the content I have consumed and the takeaway(s) from each piece that really resonated with me. I don’t track everything I read or listen to. Only those pieces that shared something really impactful and that I want to be able to reference at a later date.

Why You Need a Resonance Matrix

Let’s say you just listened to a great podcast and they said something that made you think, “Hm, that is really interesting. I should do that”. That my friend is a great thing to log in your Resonance Matrix. Without a file to keep track of all the things that you learned there is a chance that you will just be consuming information and then quickly forgetting what you read.

I also like keeping a matrix because I can reference it when I share books with other people. For example, I was on a call the other day and I noticed that I used a saying I had read in a recent book. But, I couldn’t remember which book or the author’s last name. My matrix bailed me out and I was able to share that information with a co-worker.

How I Keep My Resonance Matrix

There are a variety of ways to keep one. Of course you can use paper or digital versions. When I learned about the idea it was from a person who was using a good ole Excel spreadsheet.

While I use a combination of digital and paper productivity systems, I do use digital solutions about 80% of the time.

As for digital solutions, I use to be a fan of Evernote. It is still a great product. But I have moved over to using Notion. What I like about Notion is that I can go just about everything in one app. Notion houses my journal entries, my weekly planning, my annual goals, my content calendar, acts as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, and more. I you watch the video version of this content you can see a quick glimpse of those pieces of my Notion setup.

As you can see below, with my Resonance Matrix template I track a few categories. I track the type of content it was (book, podcast, etc.), the name of the content, the author’s name, a score I assigned the piece, and the lesson(s) learned. I’ve also recently added an “Action Step” category because I realized that without saying how I will implement the lessons learned the point is mute.

You can get my template here if you use Notion.

You will notice that I have been reading a ton of personal development lately. Also, “A Year From Home” should read “A Year In Space”. It is on Netflix if you are interested.

Until next time, I hope this information is helpful and I hope you “find your voice”.

I’m a former C-level banking exec. and 3x startup founder leading a corporate innovation/product team and have helped companies raise over $500M in funding.