How to Take Better Notes: The 6 Best Note-Taking Systems - Deepstash

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Note Taking - Starter Tips

Preparation steps before a note-taking session:

  • Try to get familiar with the topic that is going to be discussed, beforehand. This leads to better understanding.
  • Make sure you have adequate notepaper and writing material.
  • Stay hydrated and consume caffeine moderately.
  • Don't go in hungry, opting for a wholesome snack.
  • Have a positive attitude, and a willingness to pay attention.
  • If something is getting repeated in class or is indicated to be important, pay attention.

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Outline Method

Taking a structured approach to note-taking is the best way. Put the outline notes by choosing four or five key points of the lecture, followed by in-depth sub-points. One way to review is to use the Cornell Method, which divides the note sheet into three sections:

  • Cues: It includes key questions and main points.
  • Notes: Which you write during the class using the outline method. 
  • Summary: Which you can write after class while reviewing.

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The Mind Map

The Mind Map

The mind map is a visual diagram of abstract concepts.

It works best in subjects like chemistry, history and philosophy, subjects having a neural network like interlocked and complex topics. 

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 Slides and Bullet Journaling

  • Simply Write on PPT Slides: An easy method to take notes is to just write on the slides of the presentation. The PPTs have note-taking space in them and if you are able to get them in advance, the whole process becomes simple.
  • Bullet Journaling: Turn a blank page into a beautiful representation of your thought process. You can go crazy and include mind maps, flow notes, colorful design styles, making the note-taking process a delight, and learning in the process.

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Using a Laptop

Using a laptop is not an ideal way to take notes or to learn, during a lecture.

  • A laptop distracts and impairs the learning process, as you might be tempted to play games or multitask with it during lectures.
  • In the old-school hand-written method, you are processing the information, leading to better understanding and learning.
  • How you use the computer also matters, and many students can use the internet to learn or re-check information on the fly.

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