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

https://collegeinfogeek.com/how-to-take-notes-in-college/

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How to Take Better Notes: The 6 Best Note-Taking Systems
C.I.G. is supported in part by its readers. If you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more here. Prepare Well Before You Get to Class The 6 Best Note-Taking Systems Should You Use Your Computer to Take Notes?

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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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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Outline method

The Outline method

It requires you to structure your notes in form of an outline by using bullet points to represent different topics and their subtopics. 

Start writing main topics on the far left ...

The Cornell Method

  • The page is divided into 3 or 4 sections (top for title and, bottom for summary, 2 columns in the center).  
  • 30% of width should be kept in the left column while the remaining 70% for the right column.
  • All notes go into the main note-taking column
  • The smaller column on the left side is for comments, questions or hints about the actual notes. 

The Boxing Method

All notes that are related to each other are grouped together in a box. 

A dedicated box is assigned for each section of notes which cuts down the time needed for reading and reviewing.

Apps are especially helpful for this method because content on the page can be reordered or resized subsequently.

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Note Taking

Students who take notes during a lecture or presentation achieve more than those who just passively listen.

Note-taking makes one's attention focused on the ideas being discussed, and also le...

Note Taking Cues

When the instructor says 'this is important' or 'note this', or gives a non-verbal cue that the content being discussed is important, it can enhance the student's note-taking. They can also listen to the cues to help them organize their lessons.

Revision of notes

Revision of notes, done right after the lecture, is a crucial step so that any missing lesson ideas can be filled using our short-term memory.

  • Hand-written notes are better than laptops as the latter can be distracting, with students checking email or playing games. It also distracts nearby students.

  • Laptop notes are inferior as they are verbatim and shallow.

  • Hand-written notes are well-thought-out, summarized and have a lot of graphic information that is missing from laptop notes.

Prevent Tiredness

General tiredness affects the majority of people.

Here are a few basic ideas to have all-day energy:

  1. Respect your body's sleep cycle
  2. Move around
  3. Moderate coffee int...

Respecting your body's sleep cycle

It is imperative to sleep 7 to 9 hours for most adults.

An alarm clock or phone alarm can interfere with the body's sleep cycle to wake us up before a cycle is completed. It is healthier to sleep while not being simulated and wake up naturally.

Don't be a Couch Potato

Apart from rest, it is crucial to have a daily exercise routine and get some sun exposure regularly.

Human beings are designed to move and be in the sun, trekking and toiling for hours. If you are feeling tired, walking outside in nature and getting some sun will help.