How I study (and remember) Photoshop

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: September 5, 2012

Category: General

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well with you 🙂

Today I want to share something with you that I talked about last Sunday at my Photoshop “Know How” workshop and that is…how to study (and remember) Photoshop.

These days there are so many ways to pick up tips, tricks and techniques in Photoshop; we have books, magazines, DVD’s, online training, seminars and all that good stuff but it’s not access to learning that’s the problem…it’s remembering what you’ve learned.

I’ve mentioned before in a previous post [Link] that a while back now I made the commitment to study Photoshop for 30 minutes each and every day outside of the time I spend working in it. It’s a commitment for sure and there are times when I get to the end of the day and I haven’t done any studying but no matter what I’ll do some…even if 15 minutes is all I can manage before I lose the battle with the Mr Sandman; something is better than nothing right?

So how about remembering what you’ve read/watched?
Well from day one I’ve kept notebooks and each and every time I learn something I like I’ll make a note of it in my own (basic) language. This way when the time inevitably comes that I find myself wanting to use a particular technique but can’t remember exactly how to do it, rather than thumbing through a mountain of books, going online or looking through DVD’s because I can’t remember where I saw it, I simply turn to my notebook/s.

Another thing I do is to record myself doing the techniques and save them as movie files on my computer. I do this using Quick Time Player or sometimes ScreenFlow that I use to record video tutorials for my YouTube page or CD/DVD’s in magazines.

Now of course this is the way I’ve found works best for me but what about you? How do you study (and remember) Photoshop? Maybe you’re one of the lucky few with a photographic memory and see/read something once and that’s it but if like me you’re a mere mortal what do you do?

As always feel free to post a question/comment in the comments section below but in the mean time whatever you’re up to have a great Wednesday and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow,

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  1. Mark Imhof

    Hey Glyn,
    For me to remember stuff I need to read/watch it and then do it right away.
    I like your Idea of recording yourself doing the Tip and keeping it as a reference. I think I will do this too as I am redoing it anyway.
    Thanks for the great Idea.
    Have a good Day!

  2. lee archer

    I started doing the same, when I watched your running late tutorial live i had pen and paper. Which ive lost, but I since added things to a book. But youtube has been a great asset to learning tricks, pause try it, then play on. Your advice is diamond mate.

  3. Steve Hughes

    I like the idea of recording what you do/did, nice one. Myself I make notes in Evernote. Because I have it on my iPad and iPod Touch as well as my main machine (and the on-line version of course), it means that there is no reason for me not to have the reference no matter where I am. And it’s a searchable source of course.

    Steve H

  4. David Asch

    Nice one, Glyn. I like the idea of recording yourself working, I might try that!

    My weapon of choice is now Evernote; I can add notes to myself, clip websites of interest and also save inspirational images. I also keep scribbled notes in a notebook but I’ll transfer them across.

  5. Morgana Creely

    I also take notes (on my iPad) but do learn best by doing. So l try to put in the practice when l can.

    Watching purchased video tutorials in iTunes is also great because l can add brief descriptions of what the videos contain. 🙂

  6. Darren House


    As I mentioned on the Photoshop Know How Course. One of your first courses I went on you mentioned how you learn’t. This has improved my skills no end.

    Also the other major difference you have over others is the “keep it real” and “practical” outlook to the training you do.

    This make learning more interesting as it has a everyday sense to it.

  7. Darren House


    As I mentioned on the Photoshop Know How Course. One of your first courses I went on you mentioned how you learn’t. This has improved my skills no end.

    Also the other major difference you have over others is the “keep it real” and “practical” outlook to the training you do.

    This make learning more interesting as it has a everyday sense to it.



  8. johnathan

    Hi Glyn,

    I borrowed a trick from the software development world that I came from and use a ‘mini-wiki’ (I use tiddly wiki – but otehr wiki providers are available) to record my notes in an electronic format (I do this for camera based tips and tricks as well as PS based ones).

    This way it is easy to search and I can organise in a way taht I find easy to find stuff and can be backed up easily (takes up very little space).

    keep up the great work


  9. imajez

    The best way to learn anything is to do it and do it again a few more times.

    And the best way to recall information is to try and remember it – which may sound really daft. But we often forget stuff as we didn’t even try and remember it in first place. The obvious example is when being introduced to several people and 10 mins later you have no idea who they are. But if immediately after being introduced, you you try and recall the names and put them to the faces and do same thing a few minutes later, you stand a good chance of recalling them when chatting later on.

    So after being at a Photoshop class, if you sit and try and recall/go over in your head what you learned or talk with others about the tips, you stand a much better chance of recalling info later. Same as if you argue about a film’s merits with mates after going to cinema you are more likely to recall the movie than if you don’t talk about it.

  10. Jonathan Thompson

    Great article Glyn & lots of good input here in the comments. Maybe it’s because I’m old but I think the old writing it down somehow makes it stay longer in my memory. I always used to write myself reminders before going to sleep, so I didn’t forget in the morning. I found if I’d written it down almost the 1st thing I thought of was the reminder & what it said. Of course these days my 1st thought is, “Is it that time already” then the reminder note 😉
    I need to work through the techniques several times to help the info stick around in the ol’noggin.


  11. Kevin Halliburton

    I turn on Edit History in my general preferences and set it to record my detailed workflow to the file metadata. That way I have a lasting record of everything I’ve done on a given file.

  12. DaveT

    There is so much information around now that it’s easy suffer from ‘information overload’.

    I think your approach of constant study and practice is a good one as not only do you train your mind to absorb information via study, you reinforce the learning by putting it into action. The doing aspect, is one of the best ways of learning there is.

    I like the tips you and the others have provided, and I think I’ll try that quicktime recording trick.

    Thanks all

    • Glyn

      Thanks so much for the input folks; I’ve definitely got some other ways to check out to help this grey matter retain more 🙂


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