“This is a mess; how do you even find your way out of this” you might have wondered when coming across someone else’s notes. We’ve all been there, and we’ve all admitted that it’s none of our business. Let’s make one thing crystal clear. There is not a right or wrong way or a manual on how to take notes. Every student has his own methodology and what might make no sense to one might make perfect sense to someone else.
But there are rules and there are basic steps you can take that might be of use.
Keep it short and clear.
Or else, listen more and write less. Remember, you’re taking notes, not writing a book! You are not a stenographer and you’re not supposed to write down every single word your teacher says. Take only the important points from the lecture.
There’s a start, a middle and an end to everything and that’s applied to a teacher’s lesson as well. Create note-journeys, from point A to point B to point C and find the important “linking-factor” that binds each point together. It will make it much easier for you to remember what has been said about the subject, at a crucial time when you will have to revisit your notes.
Trade notes with fellow students.
Taking notes is about capturing the essence of the lecture. But what you might’ve interpreted as important might not be the case for someone else. Exchanging notes with your fellow students will enable you and them to identify points you’ve might missed or worse, misunderstood.
Use mind mapping techniques
Probably you heard about such an approach. When it comes to taking notes, what we usually do is that we mix everything together and as a result, it becomes hard to understand what the main point of the lecture was. Mind mapping technique will help you to be concise in your writing by writing only NECESSARY ideas. After the class, you can expand it by adding new information from the books or other classes that you have and tada! – you have great notes to rely on.
Avoid using phones or laptops for making notes Multiple studies have shown that when we are using a pen to write down something, we are better at remembering it afterward.