(i think i like this new coloring)

i’m trying to figure out what aesthetically is bugging me so much about lucio’s new skin because i like it in theory but there’s just something miniscule about the design that is putting me off

i think a lot of it has to do with that purple tie having no other matching color in the entire design and also that stark hat band… like just change them around a bit to match other colors in the outfit like gold and the teal of his skates

like this:

i would also in just like… my personal onion… give more ray charles-y shades just because the rest of the outfit is so thick and the rims of the shades are so thin and it’s kind of jarring

So I’ve been messing around with colorations for my Taako and like my HC for the Adventure Zone prime elves is they’re all super bright saturated colors right (purples, pinks, blues, bla bla bla) but like I made a really nice Taako with a regular human skin tone and like I’m in love??????   I know i should play more but i keep doodling him with this new color skeme and I’m like damn son but if I go with that it means i have to recolor all my elves for TAZ prime lol 


whatever ill just play with it and see where it goes. 

10

female awesome meme ♡ [1/10] lead female characters 

riley matthews (girl meets world) - there is no end to my horizon 

8

skam meme:

[4/4] scenes ➢ it’s your girl

I’m bitter AND sticky so let’s get gooey on topic!

People just? forgot that ton of season 3 episode’s visuals are  actually amazing? I mean it could be just me but this season clearly trowed a ton of budget into some scenes an episodes! 

Super Watermelon Island got an amazing fluid fight scene between two giant women and it was as energetic as it sounds 

Gem drill, even tho it was pretty chilly on animation, had ton of detail on Steven’s faces, I find it like such a sweet detail having in mind the episode was focusing a ton on Steven and his connection with the cluster 

(this is my personal favorite)

Hit the diamond had a TON of characters on-screen at the same time, having in mind 5 of them where new characters and they had to design new clothing for 5 of them 

Even though my favorite part of this episode is the bond between Amethyst and Peridot, I think Too Short To Ride was pretty consistent, I am in love every time they put little lines under the eyes of the characters because it usually helps to remark the emotion they are feeling, is personal. 

Stevonnie’s back for Beach City Drift and the thing I like the most about this episode is the backgrounds and the color choices, they are AMAZING and pretty relaxing to watch on their own. 

Monster reunion was pretty harsh to see for me because painful scenes (aka scenes where the character is clearly in pain) make me feel incredibly bad, but I again shot out how they draw emotions and the subtle lines that make it all even better. 

More than for animation itself, I praise a lot Alone At Sea because of writing and atmosphere, and the last one really works, I felt incredibly… tense, when Jasper showed up, how she acted and the way she expressed herself, and how the colors got dark and the rain around it… just gosh

Even tho it was a pretty okay-o episode in general, I really liked Gem Hunt’s backgrounds, the whites and cold tones made a good mix with Jasper’s colors and really helped her to pop out! 

I’ve talked a lot about Bismuth, so at this point everything would feel redundant, so I’ll just say that the first and last scenes have pretty good colors, one being calm pastel tones and the other reddish dark tones #BRINGHERBACK2K17

And finally, Bubbled, which has some on the most beautiful space backgrounds i’ve seen in an animation product, is the feeling of emptiness that makes the most of the episode personally, how is literally just Steven and Eyeball and Eyeball pretty much tries to kill him, in other situations you can think about something going on, but is the fact that they are in space what makes it feel… well… empty, giving more focus to the characters that contrast the most in a sea of dark cold tones and blacks! 

Sometime in the future...

…when Dex realizes he’s not poor anymore.

“can we get a headboard, too?”

Dex hated that voice. It was a voice he hadn’t heard come out of his mouth in a long time, since before him and Nursey got married, before they graduated, before he started seeing a therapist. It was a voice that said, ’a no would break me’ underneath the real words of his question.

It was how he used to ask for hugs, and how he asked, three months into their fuck-buddy relationship, for Nusey to please stay the night, just once, nobody ever stays.

Nursey gave him a long, appraising look, but Dex knew he wouldn’t ask why, all of a sudden, Dex sounded so unsure of himself. Just like Dex knew, eventually, he’d tell Nursey why something so silly as a headboard was so important to him.

He gave a small smile instead, kissed Dex’s cheek, and said, “That’s chill.”

They got out of their truck, a purchase that Nursey made without Dex because he knew his husband could never justify the price to himself, even though they could afford it a hundred times over. Between Dex’s NHL salary and Nursey and Lardo’s line of children’s books, there wasn’t really anything they couldn’t afford.

Which is why Dex hated how small and broken his voice sounded when he asked if they could buy a headboard.

With the new contract Dex signed, finally featuring a no trade clause, they decided to buy a house. Nursey went all out; he spent weeks touring places, picking out furniture, and giving Dex the silent treatment (apparently ‘whatever you want’ isn’t the right answer). The only thing left was a new mattress.

They saved it specifically for a week when Dex didn’t have any scheduling conflicts. He tried to tell Nursey that it was fine, he could go ahead and buy one without Dex there, but he refused, insisting that a mattress was an individual experience, both of them had to agree.

They both knew that, in the end, Dex wouldn’t have an opinion. A bed was a bed to him, and any bed was better than no bed. It felt nice to have a full day with his husband, though.

They stood in front of a huge mattress store, and for some reason, Dex felt uncertain. There was something about this, buying a bed, that made everything real to him. He was an adult. He was well off financially. And he was about to walk into a store hand in hand with his husband. And he was happy.

He wasn’t the angry kid from Maine, anymore.

A saleswoman nearly a foot shorter than the couple (call me Cici!) dragged them all over the store, practically pushing them down on mattresses and asking about their firmness. She asked about hteir opinon on memory foam versus tempurpedic, about fabrics and springs and coils and all sorts of questions Nursey has answers for that Dex can’t make heads or tails of.

He zones out a bit, but jumps back into the conversation when the topic of temperature comes up (so, are you two warm blooded or do you use a lot of blankets at night?). He had no idea that they made some mattresses cooler than others, but yes they wanted to try those out, because his husband is a furnace and the three stupid cats Nursey snuck home were like little fuzzy ovens.

So, they go to the other side of the store and try out hybrids (of what, Dex really couldn’t say). Without even trying it out, Nursey pointed at one of the set-ups and declared, “it’s going to be this one.” Dex had to admit that it was pretty comfortable. He didn’t feel like he was sinking into the mattress, which was nice.

Nursey clamored on top, cuddling into Dex’s side with a smug grin. “Told you it was this one.”

Still grinning, Nursey asked Cici, “Can you show us some headboard options?”

There was an entire room of them. Bed frames and headboards and footboards. Big quilted ones that Dex thought would go great in his baby sister’s princess room, studded leather ones, wrought iron frames that looked a little too bondage for Dex’s comfort.

Dex wasn’t sure what his face was doing, but  Cici told them quietly that she would give them a few minutes to look around, even though she had been attached at to their side for the hour they had been in the store.

They wandered around, looking at all the choices. Dex knew he held Nursey’s hand a little too hard, but Nursey didn’t say anything. He let Dex take the lead, inputting his opinion but never tryng to influence Dex, never pushing him to talk about it.

They made two circuits of the room before stopping (for the second time) in front of a simple padded headboard. It wasn’t anything fancy, just smooth, cream colored fabric. Dex ran a finger over the display. It was softer than it looked.

“I don’t understand headboards. Or footboards. They’re totally pointless.”

In the past, that may have been an invitation for Nursey to chirp Dex, to ask what the hell they were doing buying one if Dex thought it was pointless. But after so many years together, Nursey knew Dex needed to talk it out, not have a conversation.

“Did you know that before I went to Samwell, I never slept in a real bed?”

“I didn’t, babe.”

Dex never took his eyes off the headboard. “For a while I had a matress thrown on the floor in me and Adam’s room, but then I gave it to Hannah and I started sleeping on some sleeping bags on the floor. I told myself it was like camping. Even when I imagined my house, I never imagined a having a real bed. What’s the piont of buying something that’s totally pointless? It’s just a waste of money.”

Nursey ran a warm hand up and down Dex’s back. Dex rarely talked about his childhood. It was one of the only things they still faught about sometimes: Nursey taking their money for granted and Dex not being able to accept that he can spend money when he wants to.

“But we can buy this. We can buy something that’s totally pointless, just because I want it.”

It wouldn’t match the room, even a little bit. The whole house was stark greys and bright whites, accents of bright colors. The cream fabric would stick out like a sore thumb. It was meant for a softer house. There was something about it that Dex like, though. He couldn’t put his finger on what, exactly, but he loved it.

“What do you think?”

Nursey didn’t bother to look away from Dex when he answered. “I think it’s great, babe. It’ll look good in the bedroom.”

Dex gave him a hard look. “really.”

“Okay, no. but if you like it, then I couldn’t care less.”

And just like that,they bought it. And later that night, in their brand new bed, in their house (their house, not a house they were renting), Dex slept better than he could ever remember sleeping.

3

Sangwoo from Episode 1 (more color) vs. Episode 12 (less color - Seungbae’s flashback).

I like the the first version of his glare better, but the new version of the other two.
Hopefully the GIFs look okay? :P

Not sure if this has been posted about yet.
I’ve also noticed a few other differences in the artwork (changes in color/shape of certain objects, mistakes, etc.), if anyone’s interested in seeing them?
Edit: On second thought, I don’t think I should post those. I feel like the majority of it has to do with Koogi’s improvement and/or it’s just obvious, dumb stuff. If I see any flashbacks with altered art like this again, or similar, i’ll post that.

ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴛʜɪɴɢ ʙᴀʙʏ sᴇɴᴛᴇɴᴄᴇ ᴍᴇᴍᴇ!


      PREGNANCY -

❝ We’re going to be parents! ❞
❝ Did you feel him/her/them kick!? ❞
❝ Do you want to feel the baby? ❞
❝ I’m pregnant…and it’s yours. ❞
❝ Do you think I’ll make a good mother/father? ❞
❝ What are you hoping for? ❞
❝ I feel so nauseous today… ❞
❝ What should we name him/her/them? ❞
❝ How many diapers do you think we’ll need? ❞
❝ You’re crying over a puppy? ❞
❝ Is just strawberry okay? They didn’t have strawberries and cream. ❞
❝ I’ve read this book four times I’m basically an expert by now. ❞
❝ Boy or girl? ❞
❝ Wait, do we have everything on this list I found? ❞
❝ Can you put the crib together? I’m so tired. ❞
❝ This kid can come out anytime it’s ready. ❞      
❝ You’re glowing. ❞
❝ How far along are you? ❞
❝ Please don’t freak out…but I’m pregnant. I SAID DON’T FREAK OUT. ❞
❝ Hospital. Now! ❞
❝ I think that was a contraction… ❞
❝ The due date’s not until next week! ❞

     NEW BABY -

❝ S/He’s your kid before five in the morning. ❞
❝ We need to go on a diaper run again. ❞
❝ We’re out of formula–where’s the other can!? ❞
❝ Ugh, s/he spit up on my good shirt! ❞
❝ S/he won’t stop crying, I don’t know what to do. ❞        
❝ Please take him/her, I’m going to go crazy with the screaming. ❞
❝ Is it even possible for a baby to scream so much!? ❞
❝ Should they be breathing like that? ❞
❝ I need to go check on the baby. ❞    
❝ If you never put him/her down you’ll spoil him/her. ❞
❝ Daddy/Mommy’s little girl/boy! ❞
❝ Good morning, little spawn of Satan! ❞
❝ Shhh, they’re finally asleep.  ❞    
❝ Dammit, I just got them to sleep! ❞
❝ Be careful, s/he’s a hair puller…. ❞
❝ Where’s the pacifier!? ❞
❝ I can’t find his/her blanket, please help me. ❞    
❝ I’ve been up since four this morning, it’s your turn. ❞
❝ I found you and the baby sleeping in the recliner at six am and it was so precious. ❞
❝ Stroller, diaper bag, playpen, blanket, bottles, what else do we need before we go to your parents? ❞
❝ A babysitter!? Are you insane!? ❞    
❝ You’re going to spoil them. ❞    
❝ We can’t go out with the baby, that’s just asking for trouble. ❞
❝ Baby’s awake… ❞
❝ S/he’s so precious…. ❞
❝ This is our son/daughter…. ❞
❝ We make damn beautiful babies. ❞
❝ Look at his/her little feet… ❞
❝ S/he has your eyes. ❞
❝ Do not dress him/her in that! ❞    
❝ Be careful with him/her! ❞
❝ Did you remember to pack his/her toy? ❞
❝ His/her first tooth came in today. Already bit me.❞
❝ Did you hear that? That was a cough.❞           

        CHILDREN -

❝ The kids won’t stop fighting. ❞
❝ We should have another. ❞
❝ Stop giving them dessert before dinner! ❞
❝ You’re going to spoil them rotten… ❞
❝ You need to learn not to fall for the puppy dog eyes.  ❞
❝ I just love them so much!? ❞    
❝ How are we going to break the news to them that they’re getting a brother/sister? ❞
❝ Their screaming woke the baby… ❞    
❝ I’m a horrible mother/father… ❞
❝ How can you make the baby hush and I can’t? ❞
❝ Was that a word!? ❞
❝ His/her first word better not be a damn cuss word! ❞    
❝ You look exhausted. ❞
❝ First steps! First steps! ❞
❝ Watch, s/he can roll over now! ❞
❝ I don’t want anyone else watching our baby/children. ❞    
❝ They totally wanted to build the pillow fort, not me. ❞
❝ Can you manage dropping them off? ❞
❝ Damn terrible twos, right? ❞
❝ How did they outgrow their clothes so fast!? ❞   
❝ I think we make damn good parents. ❞
❝ Why are both you and the baby crying? ❞
❝ Here, I’ll watch him/her, you go relax. ❞
❝ I haven’t been able to put her/him down all morning/day/night. ❞    
❝ S/he doesn’t want me, s/he wants you! ❞
❝ S/he just ran into the coffee table, don’t worry. ❞
❝ Stop fighting with me in front of the kid/s! ❞
❝ We shouldn’t have dressed the twins in matching outfits… ❞    
❝ Can I hold him/her? ❞
❝ S/he has separation anxiety because you never put them down! ❞
❝ My mother always hoped my kids would end up like me…I’m so sorry. ❞
❝ I wouldn’t let them do ____, so they started crying. ❞  
❝ Oh, s/he’s just a little angel! ❞
❝ Hello, little one! ❞
❝ I can babysit if you’d like. ❞
❝ Guess who broke your favorite ____. ❞  
❝ Finally got him/her/them to sleep. ❞
❝ It’s your turn to put him/her/them to bed. ❞
❝ I hate bath time. ❞
❝ Can you help me with the kids for five goddamn minutes!? ❞
 
❝ I think ____ is jealous of the baby. ❞
❝ ___ just hit ___, can you do something!? ❞
❝ Is locking kids in the basement against the law!? ❞
❝ They’re cute when they’re quiet. ❞
❝ Maybe taking them to the park will let out all their energy. ❞
❝ _____ colored on the walls today… ❞
❝ Look at the mess they made again… ❞      
                     

5

This is Part 5 of my Miraculous colored comic. Btw, this comic needs a name. Anyone want to name my comic for me? I’m horrible at coming up with names.

Part 1     Part 2     Part 3      Part 4    < Previous Part    Next Part > Part 6

Another big thank you shout out. I wouldn’t have gotten past part 1 without so much awesome response. I’m having a lot of fun painting these :) 
It should be noted that the painting is a recreation of one I found online, I think it’s called Paris through new eyes, but I had a hard time finding much on it. I just liked it and did a rough color replica. I feel it deserves proper recognition.


Alright, so how about those names?

tips for studyblrs on a budget

While there are a lot of good things about the studyblr community, a lot of people (myself included) have noticed that the goal of many within the community is often having the most perfect, beautiful notes and supplies. For a lot of people, this is just far too expensive to be justified. There’s obviously nothing wrong with if you have the money for the “studyblr best” supplies, or if you just want to treat yo’ self, but here’s some tips to help you get nice study supplies without breaking the bank!:

1. Dollar stores! They generally have a decent selection of office supplies (as well as a lot of other basics), and some stores stick to an “everything is $1″ policy. I tend to buy pens, sharpies, and notecards from dollar stores. Though a tip is to go for the sets of pens/sharpies, because those are likely to be cheaper than buying them somewhere else (individual pens aren’t necessarily cheaper at a dollar store). I also have a nice set of highlighters, and my mom got a set of gel pens that seem to be similar to the Pilot Juice pens.

2. Speaking of pens… if you want to keep a good variety of pens, my general rule of thumb is this: ~4 black pens in two different sizes (My most-used are my Pilot G-2 in the 1.0 size and the Muji 0.38) - this way you have a thicker pen when you want/need that, and a thinner pen when that’s preferred. If you only use one size, more power to ya. I like to use a thicker black pen for headings and use the thinner for details when taking notes.
As for colors, I recommend just having one of each color that you use. If you’re not going to use 5 shades of yellow pen regularly, you don’t need that new set with a cool shade you don’t have yet. Find a brand/type of pen you like, and stick with one or two colored sets at most (I learned this from experience).

3. Highlighters: Don’t get them if you know you don’t use them. Don’t get different varieties if you don’t use them. If you love the look of neon highlighters, you don’t need to splurge for something like the Zebra Mildliners. If you don’t like the neon ones, but think you’d use the Mildliners, go for it. Most of the time, I don’t use highlighters when taking notes, I just write the words I would have highlighted in a different color from the rest of the notes (this works best when you’re taking notes from a textbook or copying notes over).

4. Just get a decent backpack. One that’ll hold up and hold all you need, but don’t feel like you need a specific brand or style of backpack. It’s literally on your back half the time, it doesn’t need to be cute.

5. Cheap notebooks work just as well as expensive notebooks. Get the off-brand notebook on the bottom shelf at target. Don’t feel like you can’t use the remaining pages at the end after your class ends. You can start a new subject in an old notebook. You can practice handwriting in an old notebook. You can use an old notebook as scratch paper or to jot down random things you need to remember. Hell, make a hundred paper cranes with the extra paper if you like to. You don’t need to let the extra paper go to waste.

If you know you’ll only use about half a notebook for one of your classes, get one with less paper or get a 3- or 5- subject notebook for your classes. Each subject generally has less paper than a regular 1-subject notebook, and it helps keep everything together.

If you want to keep a bullet journal, that doesn’t mean you need a fancy notebook for it. You can make the inside look just as good or be just as useful as any Moleskine.

6. Study with a whiteboard. I’m one of those people who has to write something down ten times in order to remember it. Now I could use paper to write it all down, but that’s a lot of paper that I’m wasting over the course of a school year. I decided to get a couple whiteboards instead. I have one small one, about the size of a piece of paper (I don’t exactly remember the cost but I think it was somewhere around $5 maybe? Could have been another dollar store find), and I have a bigger one that I keep on my wall (this one was from Sams Club and cost around $12 and included markers, a tiny eraser, magnets, and a cork board section with push pins - I use this for reminders and holding up my wall calendar, but before exams I take it down and use it to review)

7. Don’t buy the pretty planner if you know you’re not going to use it. If you already have a bullet journal, you probably don’t also need a planner, and vice versa. You can generally use both in the same way, it’s just a matter of finding what works best for you.

9. Don’t fall into the studyblr aesthetic trap. If you know you won’t use something enough to make the purchase worth it, don’t feel like you have to get it.


If you really want to get something, go for it. But don’t feel like you have to have certain supplies to succeed or to be studyblr famous. I’ve been a stationery lover for much longer than studyblrs have been around, and these are just a few things I’ve learned. Now, go tackle that homework!

Stargazing

Finished this WIP (here are the headcannons) overnight (its 3 in the morning haha). Have both final version because i couldnt choose ? Not sure if i like it, maybe i’ll do a gif version where the earthball floats and they breath

  •  I think Hunk created the floating earth lantern ball ; coran gave him the raw materials from some castle lanterns
    • Pidge typed the programm that makes its spin around in 24 seconds
  • Lance just stare at the ball for hours when he misses home
  • they uploaded pictures in it (like in some memory stick but, round) and it takes photos so you can zoom up into earth places they know
  • pidge is pulling all nighter to make it change its appearance to look like the planet they’re on
  • and Hunk tries to build a mini-lab inside
    • *pokedex voice* You’re on Exerus, the fifth moon of Kartasar..
    • Pidge : IT’S ALIVE
  • (I’ll do a close up of the pic one day )
    • They took it in a space mall while shopping (see : fashion voltron for the full experience ahah yes i link my own drawings in headcanons wth im gonna die what is sleep)
  • Also the poster is found in an old abandonned boutique of space roadtrips ; earth used to be popular inside aliens societies 
    • It’s all burnt and torn but Keith found it and immediatly thought about giving it to Lance so he keeps it preciously
    • also the earth is on fire on it
    • it’s probably 3millions years old but okay
  • In the morning Keith wakes up sore and lance is freezing because he gave his shirt to the boy #gotta keep your galra baby hot
    • He never questions the snuggle needs
    • Sometimes Keith come just to be pat like a kitty
    • he totally purrs

(can be seen as klance or not) (also the mobile version shows only one pic ? idk it’s okay)

Color my inbox!

BLACK = I would date you.
GREEN = I think you’re cute.
BLUE = You are my tumblr crush.
GREY = I wish you would notice me.
PURPLE = I don’t talk to you but I really love your blog.
TEAL = We have a lot in common.
YELLOW = I don’t know you at all.
ORANGE = I don’t like your blog.
BROWN = I don’t like you.
PINK = I think you are unattractive.
RED = I hate you with a burning passion.
WHITE = You scare me.
RAINBOW = BED PLZ.
SCARLET = You have influenced my decision/thoughts on something.
MAROON = You taught me something new.
CINNAMON = You’re a really cool person and admire you from afar.

PERIWINKLE = You make me laugh
MAUVE = You are really talented
BLUSH = Seeing you on my dash makes my day a little better.
CYAN = We have very little in common
THISTLE = I only just started following you
INDIGO = I’ve been following you for a long time
FUCHSIA = Your blog content is gold
COPPER = Your blog content is trash (and I love it)
VERMILION = You make me feel passionate
HONEYDEW = I want to call you by a nickname
LAVENDER = You inspire me
CORAL = You’re a meme
UMBER = I want to know more about you


FORGET-ME-NOT = You remind me of somebody
RAZZMATAZZ = I would share my favorite food with you
ARSENIC = I don’t know how to describe the way I feel about you
WINE = You make me feel kinda funny, like when we used to climb the rope in gym class
SAFFRON = I love your ideas
TIMBERWOLF = I trust you
FALLOW = I want to run through the Northern wilderness barefoot with you
PLUM = I’d like to chat with you
TANGERINE = I love your aesthetic
SAGE = You make me cry
CRIMSON = We should collaborate on something!
VIRIDIAN = I wanna hang out on your blog
CHARTREUSE = You’re my homie
BURGUNDY = I get excited when I see posts from you

Mexican X-23 hanging out with a pack of stray dogs. I think this concept would be nice to pursue further … .  If I ever felt confident to draw multiple dogs doing dog things…  anyway I enjoyed coloring this sketch, it’s a new approach I’m trying to iron.

Using Clip Studio Paint and starting with a base color that blends into all the other colors I use. It’s fun and challenging and I’m not used to work like this but will continue to do so.

Studying from a Textbook :: How to Get Started

Through trial and error across my academic career, I’ve developed a system of textbook studying that’s been very successful for me even in graduate school. This post outlines my basic procedure. Of course, different techniques work for different people, so be sure to pick and choose which ideas you add to your own strategies. Thanks in advance for reading!

Reading a textbook is a formidable task; after all, they contain a lot of information per page across a lot of pages. Therefore, it’s useful to divide the book into more manageable pieces. Most textbooks do a pretty good job of this by pre-dividing the material into sections (or even subsections). If there’s no pre-existing division (or if each division is fairly lengthy), I recommend focusing on about 10 pages at a time. However you choose to divide, my basic strategy amounts to this:

Tackle the textbook section-by-section, only moving onto a new section once you’re comfortable with the previous section.

If you’re under a time constraint, then I’d say make yourself as comfortable as you can within that constraint.

This begs the question: how do you become comfortable with a section? Well, you’ll need to read it more than once. Today I’m primarily discussing how to make your first reading as useful as possible, especially for future readings.

First off, I suggest reading through the section in its entirety on your first pass. There will be material you don’t understand, but that’s okay: spend a couple of minutes trying to understand it and then move on. During your first reading, you’re getting the lay of the land; you don’t have to understand everything perfectly (or even at all).

Along the way, I keep track of my understanding via sticky notes, flags, and index cards.

My Index Cards Strategy

I keep three types of index cards as I read, each with its own theme:

  1. Questions: This index card lists questions I think of while reading, usually organized by the page number on which I have the question. Questions include things like “What’s [specific terminology] mean?”,  or “Is this related to [some other topic]?”, or even as generic as “What is [this subsection] talking about?”
  2. Definitions: When a new word is introduced, I write it down on my definitions card. Beside each word I draw a bubble in one of three colors, with each color representing my current understanding of the word and related concepts: green means “fine as is”, orange means “could use attention”, and red means “absolutely needs attention.”
  3. Notations: Some textbooks use abbreviations or symbols that I don’t recognize, so I keep an index card of these notations for quick reference.

You can easily replace this system’s index cards with notebook pages or similar media. Whatever works best for you!

My Sticky Notes and Flags Strategy

Using sticky notes placed within the textbook, I summarize challenging paragraphs and recap important ideas. This process forces me to grapple with the text, ultimately resulting in nice one-sentence summaries. These summaries help concepts stick in my brain and are extremely useful on subsequent reads of the text. I also use sticky notes to write questions that I couldn’t fit on my questions card. For the most difficult passages, I use flags: a quick, wordless way of saying “What in the world is this author talking about???”

Post-Reading Analysis and Subsequent Reading

I love this system because it not only lets me know how I feel about the material, but also generates specific concrete tasks to better my understanding. The vague task that is “learn this subject” becomes the more manageable tasks of “answer these questions”, “learn these words”, and “summarize these topics.”

I try to do the first reading in a single study session (although it’s not imperative to do so). Then, in a separate study session, I look up topics and words that I struggled with. The internet is particularly useful for this! Once I’ve improved my understanding some, I begin reading through the section again, this time with a fine-toothed comb. I use the notes I made the first time as guidelines for where I should spend my time and energy.

It’s very likely that during my second (and subsequent) reads I’ll think of new questions or come up with new ways of recapping material; in that case, I record them just as I did during the first reading.

In this way, I keep revisiting material I don’t understand until I feel like I understand it; again, external resources can be very useful for this! I only consider the section completed once I have a solid understanding of the section’s terminology and big ideas. Chances are I’ll still have questions at that point, but that’s okay:

I aim to be comfortable with the material, which is not the same as understanding 100% of what’s written in the textbook.

So, yeah! That’s my method in a nutshell. I hope you find parts of it useful in your own studies!

Thanks for reading! I’m wishing you the best of luck!