Note taking is an essential skill for college students. I am a meticulous note taker. I like to keep notew neat and organized. Want to re-organize your note-taking process? Check out my tips below!
1. Use Headings + Bullet Points to Organize
I use a combination of headings and bullet points to categorize my notes. Writing ‘Major Topics’ in bold letters and ‘Minor Topics’ in italics differentiates each section of notes. Bullet points are helpful to summarize important information.
2. Highlight to Emphasize
I use a lot of highlighter throughout a semester. Highlighting my notes allows me to track important information. It is also a useful technique to find specific topics within my notes.
3. Dedicate a New Page to Each Day
I start notes for each new day on a new page. This process creates an organized sequence for notes. It is good practice to date each set of notes. Further organize each set by numbering all pages.
4. Determine Your Note-Taking Style
Various note-taking styles exist. For this post, I will highlight two note-taking styles:
- Cornell Method
- This style makes reviewing easier and more effective.
- Start by dividing your page into two columns. Label one column “Keywords” and the other column “Notes”. Beneath these sections, mark off a third section and label it “Summary”.
- During the lecture, write all notes in the “Notes” column. Capture main points and meaningful topics here.
- After the lecture write keywords in the “Keywords” column. Try reducing each line of notes into a single keyword.
- Use only the “Keywords” column to test your knowledge during review sessions.
- Write a brief summary after your review session.
2. Mind Mapping
- This is a visual form of note-taking. Mind is a process of drawing your notes. This style helps you find connections you may miss with traditional note-taking.
- Steps: (1) Write the main lecture topic in the centre of your page. (2) Record new points around the central topic. (3) Draw lines to connect different ideas.
Do you use any specific note-taking methods?