Holistic Learning EBook

I’ve just released my first free e-book, Holistic Learning: How to Study Better, Understand More and Actually “Get” What You Want to Learn. In an easy to read format, the book is also filled with many color illustrations to add impact to the ideas.

Download Holistic Learning Now for Free

Although many of the ideas will be familiar to people who read my other articles on Holistic learning, the bulk of the content is completely new and at over 25 pages long, it has far more depth than I could devote to a blog entry. If you are a student, educator or just someone who wants to manage in our increasingly information dense world, it is worth a read.

Based on the dozens of reader comments following my original piece on holistic learning, I’ve made many improvements to the original concept. The first half of the book is devoted to a thorough explanation of holistic learning which introduces new ideas I’ve never covered before on this website.

The second half of the book is a detailed account of how to actually learn holistically. Many of the readers of the original articles commented that they liked the concept but it wasn’t very practical. This section of the book remedies those concerns by focusing on the practical steps to using holistic learning without betraying the complexity of holistic learning by resorting to a list of tips.

This book is a living document subject to be changed and added. I’m setting up a page on this website devoted to books on this site which you can view here. If the book is popular, I might expand the page to adapt to the collective knowledge of what it means to learn better.

Go ahead, download the book. It’s completely free, you can share it with whoever you want and I’m not going to ask for your name or e-mail address.

Holistic Learning: How to Study Better, Understand More and Actually “Get” What You Want to Learn

I’m leaving the comments section here open for anyone who wants to discuss the book.

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  • Chris White

    Very excited to read it! Thanks for putting the time into expanding so much on your original article!

  • David

    You left out a word on page 5. It says “Although they are supposed test you on the course material,” leaving out ‘to’ in between supposed and test.

  • Dror Engel

    thanks scott, you will get a feedback soon 🙂

  • Thomas ten Cate

    Being a “natural born” holistic learner myself, I immediately grasped what you are talking about. However, I’m not so sure whether this way of learning can be learned or taught. You do not give any evidence that this is possible. Also, although the whole “models” and “constructs” thing sounds very nice theoretically, in practice things will be a bit messier.

    Yet your book made an interesting read. I immediately recognized your visualisation of a subspace — only the colours are different from mine 🙂 Similarly I immediately recognized that the picture on page 16 is used to compute the determinant of a 2×2 matrix — blue for positive, red for negative. I use a similar picture for 3×3 matrices, with the diagonals “wrapping around” the edge. I suppose you know what I mean.

    Did you do the illustrations yourself? And the layout? It may be a good idea to split the text up into two columns, because the lines are a bit long to read. You might also consider using a justified right margin. It may also be a good idea to include page numbers for those who don’t read on-screen.

    (By the way, I see you’ve put up a new picture in the right sidebar. Definitely an improvement 😉 )

  • Mark

    I just came across this article about the effects of sleep on relational memory and wondered if you’d noticed any effects of sleep on your ability to absorb the information you learn through holistic learning?

    Though I wonder, out of those in the study for whom there was more time between learning and testing, how many remembered more, and formed a clearer picture, because they consciously thought more about what they’d seen.

    Thanks for writing up this ebook Scott! I’m returning to uni next year and I’m confident that with some effort I can habitualise holistic learning to make the whole experience much less tedious than it was the first time around.

    I have one question. I have trouble with processing information rapidly, especially when it’s conveyed verbally. You mentioned a small, immediate boost in comprehension. Does this boost tend to lead to an improvement in speed of information processing? I’d suspect that as one’s web of information grows larger, and more nodes are created, there would be an increase in speed of information processing as new information is more readily incorporated into the existing web. Have you found this to be the case?

  • Scott Young

    Thanks for the comments guys,

    David – Sometimes even after five complete edits you still miss things. I’ll get right on it.

    Mark – Holistic learning isn’t directly about speed. Often it involves slowing down the rate at which you gather information to gather it properly. No doubt with practice you can go faster, but I expect using visceralization and metaphor techniques would slow your learning during the onset.

    The advantage comes later when you can learn a concept once and fully understand it without endless repetitive studying and practice. Sort of, “a stitch in time saves nine,” type of benefit.

  • Anton

    I’m very excited to read it too!
    It’s great when people are making big efforts to help people around the world via the internet and I’m very thankfull for this.

    I also wanted to start learning holistically, but indeed your previous articles where very nice to read but not very practical.

    I’m starting a new study this year september and I hope that at that time my holistic learning ability is good enough to use it for real.

    Sorry for my bad English.
    Greetings from a Dutch fan 😉

  • viasenzanome

    This is a great idea Scott! You will get feedback soon!

  • viasenzanome

    I can say immediatly that the terms of distribution are very clear, but perhaps you you may add a more formal definition (legally valid), for example you can take a creative commons license:


    such as this one:


    At least, I think that this is a good idea.
    However, great work! 😉

  • Rodger

    Interesting book and subject. The layout and graphics look great, and the content is very good.

    Learning and academics have always been naturally easy for me, so I never really paid too much attention to *how* I learned. It’s something that I’m paying more attention to now.

    I probably do some of what you mention in the book, but not all of it. I would guess that my natural learning style is somewhere in between pure holistic and pure rote.

    I remember spending time studying, going over notes, doing some problems, etc., but nowhere near as much as some of my other classmates.

    Now that I don’t have any more tests to take 🙂 , I lean more toward the holistic side than the rote side.

    Do you think holistic learning also works well for practical knowledge, like learning the process of solving physics problems, or is it better for purely theoretical knowledge?

  • viasenzanome

    I’ve just read your ebook and I have a few suggestions. Here we go!

    I think that someone that already is an holistic learner at a certain extent, can “feel” the process that you explain, and to improve his learning style by consciously applying what you point out in your ebook. But for everyone else, some practical examples in which you apply the process may be very useful. In fact, I think that someone learn more starting with practical applications and by constructing his own conceptual model, and other ones by learning an already given model.

    For example, perhaps the diagrams that you describe in “How to ace your finals exam without studying” could be helpful.

    However, I’ve really enjoyed your ebook. Thank you for your very useful work, Scott!

  • Scott Young

    Thanks for the comments,

    Rodger – Holistic learning can definitely be applied to practical problems, that’s the point. What holistic learning does is it gives you a complete understanding so that you can then solve problems from that understanding. While rote memorization would reinforce a specific strategy for solving problem, holistic learning would allow multiple paths to the same understanding.

  • Matt

    Scott, I enjoyed reading your articles and book. I am excited about useing your ideas and techniques as I begin nursing school. I’m always looking for new ideas and methods when it comes to learning and studying. Thank you.

  • Jared

    Loving the ebook Scott. Nice work. Definitely going to recommend it to lots of people.

  • Mark

    Can anyone teach me how to use this holistic learning strategy? I’ve read all the things which should be done to learn it but up to now I can’t totally get it. I find it easy to think but I find it hard to put in practice. I don’t know what to start and when to end. I know how to relate but I don’t know what to relate. Please help my hungry mind, I so am craving for this thing. E-mail me through facebook lian_iam@yahoo.com or through YM lian_alba@yahoo.com Thanks Scott Young and thanks in advance to the one who can help me.

  • Esther

    When was this book written?