The Charting Method - Deepstash

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The Best Note-Taking Methods

The Charting Method

The Charting Method

It is an ideal method for notes that involve a lot of information in form of facts and statistics, that need to be learned by heart.

The information will be organized in several columns, similar to a table or spreadsheet. Each column represents a unique category which makes the rows easily comparable. 

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The Art of Note-Taking
The Art of Note-Taking

Even in an age where laptops rule, notetaking is still the tool of choice for highly successful students, entrepreneurs, and leaders.

Tim Ferris attributes his notetaking style as one o...

The Cornell Method

This simple and highly systematic note-taking method helps you to understand key ideas and relationships easily. Best used for:

  • Gathering information from a seminar or presentation.
  • Recording college lecture notes.
  • Studying literature or a textbook.
Cornell Method: How to take notes
  1. Write down the lecture name/seminar/reading topic at the top of the page.
  2. Write down notes in the largest section of the page (right-hand column). Transcribe only the facts using bulleted lists and abbreviations. Take notes of questions that arise.
    3. Create question cues in the left-hand column that you will use later as a study tool.
  3. At the bottom section of the page, summarize the main ideas of your notes. Ask yourself how you would explain this information to someone else. Keep it concise.

Read over your notes in the left-hand column and summary at the bottom as often as possible. Quiz yourself with the questions you've included in the left column. Repeat often to increase your recall and deepen your comprehension.

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.
  • M...
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.

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. 

The Outline/List

Is a linear method of taking notes that proceeds down the page, using indentation or bullets to denote major and minor points.

Pros: it records content relationship in a way tha...

The Sentence Method

The goal is to jot down your thoughts as quickly as possible. Format is kept to a minimum: every new thought is written on a new line. 

Pros: Is like free writing for notes.

Cons: lack organization and notes can be hard to understand.

Works for: meetings or lectures that lack organization; when information is presented very quickly.

SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review)
  • Skim the material for bolded text, images, summaries, to produce a list of headlines;
  • Each headline is then written in the form of a question;
  • Record your “answers” to the reading questions under each corresponding header;
  • Once you’ve finished reading the text, write a summary of the material from memory—this is the “recite” part of the process. 
  • Finally, review your notes to make sure you’ve completely grasped the concepts.

Works for: dense written material.