Note taking is a very important skill to be good at and of course it helps to have your notes nicely organized. Everyone takes their notes differently and you really have to find what methods work best for you. Personally, I prefer to handwrite my notes rather than type them. Here’s what I do!
Each class I take has it’s own notebook dedicated to that class. I NEVER have a notebook that shares notes from various classes even if there are dividers in the notebook. The problem with divided notebooks is that if you run out of room in one section, you can’t continue the notes into the other section because that section is already full with notes from another class.
We all have that one professor that talks a mile minute and by the time class is over your hand is cramping from writing so quickly. For classes like these, all I take notes with is a piece of paper and a pen. That’s it. No highlighters or colored pens. Just paper and pen. My objective is to get down as much information as I can and not worry about how neat my notes are. After class, I then rewrite the notes and completely reorganize the material using however many colored pens I want. Not only does this method allow you to reorganize your notes, but it also acts as a review session.
pens or pencils?
I use both colored pens and pencils when I take notes. I am a very visual learner so using bright colors helps me memorize information. I start off class by writing down the chapter or lesson that will be discussed that day in color at the top of the paper. Then, I take notes in pencil as the professor lectures. The pens that I use are the PaperMate InkJoy Ballpoint Pens and PaperMate Flair Pens. The flair pens are more of a marker so I tend to use those to write my headings and use the ballpoint pens to underline key concepts.
key concepts or definitions
I either highlight, underline or write key terms and definitions in colored pen to make them stand out. That way, when you go back to review your notes, the key take aways from the lesson that day are easy to find. (Please ignore my crappy handwriting.)
I use arrows a lot when I take notes. For example, in math I use arrows to show the conclusion to a problem or I draw a colored arrow to show the explanation to a certain problem. Math tends to have a lot of its own types of symbols so just be careful that the symbols you use don’t interfere with the material.
Because I write my notes in pen, I can’t erase mistakes. That is why the Bic Mini White Out is my best friend. It’s small enough to fit into my pencil case and it rolls on like tape rather than that annoying liquid that takes forever to dry.
That’s all for today! As always I hope you enjoyed and please feel free to share this with your friends on Facebook!