Entropy and mutual information in neural networks provide rich information on the learning process, but they have proven difficult to compute reliably in high dimensions. Indeed, in noisy and high-dimensional data, traditional estimates in ambient dimensions approach a fixed entropy and are prohibitively hard to compute. To address these issues, we leverage data geometry to access the underlying manifold and reliably compute these information-theoretic measures. Specifically, we define diffusion spectral entropy (DSE) in neural representations of a dataset as well as diffusion spectral mutual information (DSMI) between different variables representing data. First, we show that they form noise-resistant measures of intrinsic dimensionality and relationship strength in high-dimensional simulated data that outperform classic Shannon entropy, nonparametric estimation, and mutual information neural estimation (MINE). We then study the evolution of representations in classification networks with supervised learning, self-supervision, or overfitting. We observe that (1) DSE of neural representations increases during training; (2) DSMI with the class label increases during generalizable learning but stays stagnant during overfitting; (3) DSMI with the input signal shows differing trends – on MNIST it increases, while on CIFAR-10 and STL-10 it decreases. Finally, we show that DSE can be used to guide better network initialization and that DSMI can be used to predict downstream classification accuracy across 962 models on ImageNet.