Back Page Notes: The First 90 Days: Proven strategies for getting up to speed faster and smarter

Every month I try and read 2-3 books with a focus on reading books that are on the current or former military reading lists and are focused in on leadership, professional development, and philosophy. The problem is five or six months down the line I’d often forget what book I read and also forget the main points from the book. Writing notes in the margin worked for a while but it was quite a pain to go through all my books and look for notes. Writing notes on the back page of the book worked great for a while, but if I gave the book away I lost the notes. I finally started writing all my notes in a moleskin journal, snapping a picture or typing them on a 1-page PDF to share on DODReads.

If you would like to join me and share your own back page notes please follow the guidance here.


If you are a reader or author and have high-quality “back page notes” from your personal reading list or military reading list that you would like published on please use this template. I will be happy to include your notes, a short bio, picture, and links to your website or socials.

Eugene Padden is a Master Training Specialist and graduate of the U.S. Navy’s Senior Enlisted Academy Class 220. He has deployed with multiple U.S. Navy SEAL and U.S. Army Ranger platoons to Iraq and Afghanistan and is currently serving on active duty in San Diego, California. He holds a Bachelors’s Degree in Intelligence Studies and recently certified as a Resilience-Building Leader Program Trainer. He has been published in USNI Proceedings Magazine and Naval Intelligence Professionals.

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