how to take good notes

How to take good notes: 15 Powerful Note-taking techniques

by Raja Mehar

Imagine following a note-taking technique to make your notes powerful, effective and easy to read for exam preparations.

Now, imagine if there were 13 of such tips.

Every student takes notes because they are essential for life as student.

Lucky for you, by following these 13 powerful tips, you can make your notes effective, memorable and easy to read.

Why good note-taking skills are important

Good notes make learning effective, easy and revision for exams becomes super easy. Also, good and organized notes reduce stress and studying becomes fun.

Also, learning how to take good notes makes you quick to pick heavy concepts during class easy and also easy to write them down in your notebooks.

How to take good notes?

So, lets get on with the tips:

1. Seperate notebook for each subject

Most of college students usually keep just one or two at the most notebooks during a semester and cram all the information and lectures of all subjects into that notebook.

This is very bad habit. It makes organization of information much difficult and leads to messy and non-coherent notes.

So, tip number one is to have a different notebook for every single subject.

2. Separate portions for theory and numerical problems

This is super important for subjects involving math.

All those subjects will have theory portion and also some numerical problems. So, having different portions for theory and numerical problems makes it easy to make links between theory involved in those numerical problems easy.

Also, it makes preparation for exams more easy as it clears out both segments of subject and you can review them easily.

3. Color code or bookmark chapters

Color code each chapter in your notebook. You can do this by using different color for title of chapter or something like that. Or you can use bookmark chapters too.

This will make finding various chapters for exam preparation quick and easy. Also, it adds visuals and colors to your notes and that makes memorization easy.

4. Keep everything organized

Organized notes are ten times more effective and better than disorganized.

Make full use of headings, highlight important sentences and break down the information as much as possible.

This will help you in memorization and preparation for exams. Also, using headings makes long-term memorization easy.

5. Make two sets of notes

Now, this might seem like an overkill but it is very effective.

By two sets what i mean is that you should have lecture notes that you take during class separately than the ones you develop by your self.

So, basically what you need to do is that you take write down whatever lecturer says during class. Then you go home, combine that lecture with knowledge from book and from other sources to develop notes of your own.

You can have only one notebook for all subjects for lecture notes.

6. List all key terms at end of each chapter

At the end of each chapter, list down all the concepts and key terms from that chapter.

Sometimes, it happens that you need information about a topic but you don’t know in which chapter it was in.

So, you only need visit the key terms at end of chapter to search that. Also, it makes preparing for multiple choice question exams very easy.

7. Draw diagrams before writing

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

If your topic includes diagrams or illustrations, then draw them before writing any words.

Because most of the time, text is only describing the diagram and it is easier to understand from diagrams instead of text.

So, draw diagrams first, then decide whether you need to write text about it or not.

It helps you save time during notes preparation.

8. Highlight Important terms

Use a highlighter and highlight important terms in the text.

This will make easier to read the notes for exam preparation.

Also, it makes listing down key terms at the end of chapters easy and convenient.

9. Use sticky notes for questions

Sometimes, while making notes questions regarding the topic may pop-up in your mind that you don’t know the answers to.

So, for that, you need sticky notes. Write the question on that sticky note and post it on the page that contains the text relevent to it.

This will make it easier to remember the questions and you can ask your professor about them in next lecture.

10. Write test and quiz dates on last line of page

Often it happens that the professor tells you about a quiz about a certain topic and you forget the date its going to be.

That is going to be a thing of past, because what you can do is that you can write in different colors for prominence, the date of tests on last line of page that has the topic from which quiz or test will be taken.

This will make remembering the dates and preparation for that quiz convenient and super easy.

11. Use handwritten notes

In modern digital world, hand written notes are becoming something of a rarity.

But no matter how much smart and advanced your tablet or laptop is, handwritten notes are always far better than the one taken on tablets or laptops.

So, stick to the handwritten notes because they give more options of modifications and you have much control on them comparatively because for soft form of notes, you can only modify them as much as the software allows you to.

12. Keep notes brief

Don’t write up everything related to the topic.

Instead try to keep your notes as brief and simplified as possible.

Make use of bullets and points instead of paragraphs. And write to the point information. This will make reading the notes easy and easy to understand for anyone.

13. Write date on top

On top left or right portion of every page, always write date.

This is very important. This creates a history of note-making and also keeping track of syllabus taught becomes super easy.

Wrapping Up

So, by following these tips, you can make your notes:

  • Easy to read
  • Manageable
  • Organized
  • Beautiful

So, which tip did you like the most? and what tip you have used before?

Let me know in comments below


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