Google’s NotebookLM is a wonderful resource for including AI to your notes

This posting is republished with permission from Wonder Resources, a publication that helps you find the most useful web pages and applications. Subscribe here.

Google’s NotebookLM is a new free company that allows you utilize AI to your individual notes and paperwork. You can use it to floor new thoughts and uncover clean connections in your feelings and research. Study on for how I’m making use of it, what I like most about it, its limitations, and two interesting choices.

How to commence using NotebookLM

  • Signal up at It’s free for now, while in beta.
  • Upload up to 50 files into a collection (or “notebook”) of sources to investigate.
  • You can create up to 100 of these notebooks for numerous topics.
  • Each document you insert can be up to 100MB and have up to 500,000 text.
  • You can add PDFs, Google Docs, or pasted textual content.
  • Within each and every notebook, there is a “noteboard” house for conserving AI responses and crucial passages from your resources or to preserve feelings as you interact with the AI.
  • When you produce your very own account, you’ll see a few sample notebooks to investigate. Take a look at individuals notes and try queries to get a feel for how it functions.

Tip: Take into account separating your have writings from investigate you have gathered from some others. That will make it less complicated to distinguish your material sourcing later.

Illustration: I have a collection about entrepreneurial journalism, for example, with a wide variety of notes and supplies I’ve established around time. I’m creating an additional one targeted on the heritage of classical music, with content, exploration, and notes I’m accumulating from other people. Obtaining separate areas for these will help the AI section its assessment, and will also help me ensure clarity about resources.

What to use NotebookLM for

Evaluate your own content

After you generate a collection, NotebookLM generates a summary for every of the paperwork in it. It also provides subject matter tags dependent on the written content. You can then query a individual doc, a group of documents, or the comprehensive notebook. That’s useful if you want to review content from a specific supply or a batch of documents on a unique subject.

Suggested queries

NotebookLM will recommend a number of queries you can start off with, based on its assessment of your substance. For case in point, in my assortment of entrepreneurial journalism notes, it proposed queries about greatest methods for presenting startup initiatives.

It prompt that for the reason that I had composed thoroughly about presentation practices in the files I uploaded. When I clicked on that query, NotebookLM drew from different strands of products in my notes and established a summary of some of my essential factors.

To aid me identify wherever it was sourcing the product in that summary, NotebookLM presented a checklist of 10 citations from throughout the nine files I had uploaded. I could then click on on the citations to watch those original supply sections. I could also insert that summary to my noteboard as a new be aware. That’s helpful when creating one thing new.

Question your possess thoughts

NotebookLM also enables you to pose any dilemma you want. For illustration, I queried my very own entrepreneurial journalism notes about earlier discussions of podcast revenue streams.

Responses from AI chat solutions like Claude, ChatGPT, and Gemini can be tricky to trace to any specific source. (Perplexity, the most useful AI lookup company, does share practical citations.) With NotebookLM, by distinction, you profit from AI utilized specifically and narrowly to assessment of your have notice, with citations. 

  • Caveat: Occasionally I obtain the choices NotebookLM will make about which sections of a supply to cite to be puzzling.

Creating on your very own notes

Just after querying NotebookLM, you can help save its responses and build on them to make new notes. These reside on your noteboard, alongside with other AI queries and new notes you make. If you’re crafting one thing new or getting ready a presentation, you can use NotebookLM to support you in discovering your resources. You can have a dialogue with your have notes. That is a person of the most precious aspects of NotebookLM: It goes much outside of searching for keyword phrases.


  • As of Could 2024, NotebookLM is accessible only in the U.S. to folks 18 and more mature. And some Google accounts could not have obtain. I’m equipped to use it with my particular Gmail account, for example, but not with my function account.
  • There’s no mobile app, however the cellular World-wide-web version functions nicely for very simple queries.
  • The structure even now feels a bit clunky to me. The interface features many panels—one for your source documents and one more for your queries, along with many notes you help you save or generate. Supplied that this is a new form of instrument, it may just take some time for a streamlined watch to emerge.
  • Google does not educate its models on your materials, which continues to be non-public to you. But if you’re skeptical about the company, you could not want to upload private materials.


  • Mem is a notes application with AI that trains itself on your notes. It surfaces relevant notes automatically as you kind. You can also talk to inquiries of your own notes, much like NotebookLM. But Mem is a extra entirely functional notes instrument. I wrote about why Mem is like a next-era Evernote.You can not compartmentalize its AI evaluation for distinct notes or notebooks in the same way you can with NotebookLM. Mem operates only with Google authentication, so you want a Google account to use it. Pricing: $100/12 months or $15.
  • AnythingLLM is a absolutely free software package device you can down load to operate an AI model on your own notebook. You can feed it any notes, documents, or information you want it to utilize AI to. You can even operate the product absolutely offline, so you never have to add the files to a cloud server. I tested this to apply AI to a thoroughly private set of information on my personal laptop computer. It’s remarkably effortless to set up and use. I expected to spend an hour adhering to recommendations, but it was up and functioning in about 15 minutes on my 2021 MacBook Professional. I even ran it offline. AnythingLLM will work on Mac, Linux, and Windows desktops. I downloaded and ran the open-supply Llama 3 model, which requires about 4.7GB in place.

This short article is republished with authorization from Marvel Equipment, a e-newsletter that helps you explore the most practical internet sites and applications. Subscribe here.

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