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Have you ever struggled with taking ‘good’ notes? Either missing important information or writing down every single word the lecturer has spoken… Notetaking can be so essential in the real world and is arguably one of the most crucial skills we learn during our time at school.

This blog will hopefully help you take effective notes that can make your learning journey and even your career path so much smoother! 


Paraphrasing and taking notes in your own word

It is a normal instinct to want to copy the exact words your lecturer is saying or has written on their slide presentation. However, studies have shown that it is significantly better for memorization when students actively process and rephrase their notes.  It does not take time, but it makes a big difference! 

Have structure to your notes: headings, subheadings, bullet points

Structurally organizing notes and outlining the main topic of discussion and sub-topics frames the way information shapes the student’s memory and learning process. Using the numbering or indenting system, students can distinguish major and minor points and the order of events/information, which can help understanding and memorization.

Color Code notes after class as a review

Color coding can be super useful in the same way as structured notes, as it breaks up different subjects and encourages students to think about the notes they are taking.

Handwritten vs. Digitally Typed

Writing notes digitally can be efficient, organizable, shareable, and an option most people opt for as it takes minimal energy for a faster result. Yet research and studies have shown that handwritten notes significantly improve recognition and retention. While both can work, choosing the right type depends on the subject and the level of memorization and efficiency needed to excel in studying the class! Perhaps, using an iPad can be a midpoint to balance the two as well!


Use charts and mindmaps and tables

Charts, mindmaps, and tables can be tools people often forget but can be incredibly helpful in organizing information during or even after class. These tools are perfect for after-class review as it greatly helps retention and arrangement.

Go to Class Prepared

Super easy. Check the topic of discussion and the unit before class, as it really helps put the notes into the perspective of the unit and course at large.