Handwritten Note-Taking Methods

The appearance and organization of my notes plays a huge role in the amount of time that I dedicate to studying and my overall performance on tests.  Therefore, I’ve spent the past several years experimenting with various methods, and these are a few of the techniques that I’ve found to be most beneficial.

Cornell Method

The Cornell Method emphasizes identifying the key points of a textbook passage or lecture and consolidating information as much as possible.  

I’ve found that this style works best for literature and science courses that require extensive, dense reading and note-taking.  It allows me to easily and quickly identify what I understand versus what I still need to work on.

Adapted Cornell Method

I’ve created my own adaptation of the Cornell Method by eliminating the summary section at the bottom of the page and incorporating Post-It notes throughout the body of the page to highlight lists and key points.  And, of course, I had to add some color!


This is, by far, my favorite method due to its flexibility and clean, minimalist appearance.  While the image above doesn’t depict a true series of bullets at varying levels of indentation, you can experiment with different types of bullet points as well as varying spacing.  

I prefer using this method for maths because it allows sufficient space for me to draw graphs, record examples, and solve problems.  


Mind-maps are extremely helpful for organizing complex or extremely confusing topics.  There’s no right or wrong way to go about drawing one, and much of the final appearance will be related to the material that you’re diagramming.  Keep in mind that certain topics and information will more readily lend itself to this sort of portrayal.

For those of us who aren’t artistically talented 🙋🏼, these can be rather challenging to construct, especially when working with unfamiliar material.  In the past, I’ve used mind-maps for history when looking at isolated events or individuals.

↳so tired of handwritten assignments, they truly are the worst. Already handed in the history of China one on Monday, now I gave to hand in this history of Japan one on Friday (I’m halfway done) and then finally I have to send by mail the Culture of Japan one so it gets there on July 20th.

During her concerts, Adele showers fans with confetti that’s been personalized with handwritten song lyrics. On her 5th anniversary with her son’s father, he secretly added in pink confetti with handwritten notes like ‘I love you’ and 'you are an angel’ to surprise her on stage. Source

WEEK 10/14 | This week’s summary notes and studyguide pages on “History of Visualization in the Media”. There are only 4 weeks left to my exams and I’m in delay with my studyguide work 😅 BUT I’m trying not to get too stressed or overwhelmed, just keeping on doing one thing after another 🌱