Minimalist Reading Tracker (Free Spreadsheet + Printable)

July 19, 2020

If you’re looking for a reading tracker, you’ve come to the right place. At the bottom of this post, you’ll find a variety of free resources to track your reading — both digital and printable.

Tracking your reading is an incredibly important step in your learning journey. So important that before you download or print the reading trackers — we recommend taking a moment to read through a few of our Learn Stash tips and pointers.

Why a Reading Tracker?

Tracking your reading is important because it’s an essential step in recalling what you learn. We read books in order to advance our knowledge and understanding, but sadly we encounter the “forgetting curve” and forget much of what we consume. Don’t believe me? Take 10 seconds and try to remember the books you read last year. If you’re like most people, you probably recalled 2-3 at most. That’s a problem if you ever need to revisit that information or actually want to use what you learned.

With as much information as we’re bombarded with on a daily basis. Studies show that most people encounter over 100K words on a normal day. Talk about information overload. It’s practically impossible to retain all of the information we encounter — especially on a complicated, new subject we’re studying. This is why you need a reading tracker.

How to Use a Reading Tracker

You can track your reading however you want, but if you want to track your reading in a way that’s truly helpful and memorable, we recommend keeping it simple and only logging a few important details.

✅ Book Title
✅ Book Author
✅ Date Started
✅ Date Finished
✅ Category
✅ One-Line Summary or Note

reading-tracker-spreadsheet

If you’re the type to track your reading. Only tracking these few, minor details may pain you. But trust me, this is the way to go. If you try logging every single page you read, date that you read it, and your thoughts on every single reading session — you’re going to give up. You have to go back to the first section of this post and remember the reason why you’re tracking your reading in the first place — to advance your knowledge.

Feel free to take notes in another notebook or note-taking app, but your reading tracker should be just that. A reading log where you’re able to instantly find the books you’ve read.

The Benefits of a Simple, Minimalist Reading Tracker

The list of benefits of keeping a simple, minimalist reading tracker will surprise you because they go beyond just your memory. By using a simple book tracker, you’ll…

  • Have an easily accessible list of books to recommend to friends
  • Be able to remember what books you read in your most important seasons of life
  • Have a historical record of your lifelong learning
  • Discover books you might want to recommend to your kids when they grow up
  • If you ever decide to publish your thoughts on a subject you’ll have everything you need to cite your sources or do additional research

Need some inspiration to track your reading?

One of the best kept reading logs was kept by an early 1900s millionaire, George Vanderbilt. His family was one of the wealthiest in America and they built one of the largest private homes (Biltmore Estates) in the U.S. Despite never receiving a college education, George Vanderbilt became one of the most well-read men in America. From the age of 12 to his death at age 51, he logged over 3,000 titles in a book simply titled, “Books I’ve Read.”

Hopefully, we’ve done a sufficient job of convincing you why you should start using a reading tracker. So now the rest is up to you. Whether you want to track things digitally or physically, we’ve got your back with plenty of free options below. Happy reading!

LearnStash Digital Reading Trackers

The LearnStash Reading Tracker – Google Sheet
The LearnStash Reading Tracker – AirTable

LearnStash Printable PDF Reading Tracker

The LearnStash Reading Tracker – FREE PDF

Reading Tracker Apps

Candl – Set Goals and Track Your Reading
GoodReads – Track Your Reading, Rate Books, and See What Others Are Reading

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Tyler Speegle

Husband, blogger and serious coffee drinker. Passionate about helping others understand how to live relationally with God and escape a life of dry, mechanical religion so that they can live out their God given purpose.

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