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Hello! Since I’m getting a lot of messages about the way I take notes, I thought I’d make a post about it so that I can share it with all of you. (I’ll probably make a separate post on note-taking tips after.)
I do take class notes and revision notes. Apart from the fact that taking notes in class gives me a reason not to make frequent eye contact with my professor (because I always sit in front), I actually enjoy taking the time to write down information onto paper.
So to start things off in my note-taking process, I use the following materials:
Class notes: Econ 0.7 mm Faber-Castell mechanical pencil and Corona notebooks (lined or graphed) Revision notes: BIC Black Super EZ Smooth Ink 0.7 mm, Dong-A Red Fine Tech 0.5 mm and occasionally, Staedtler fineliners and thick markers
CLASS NOTES I used to be a neat freak when it comes to my lecture notes. I would arrange information in bullet form, switch pens every now and then, and die a little bit inside when my teacher moves on to the next slide and I haven’t copied the remaining text.
All that changed when I started to attend my art classes. My professors encouraged us to draw and minimize the use of words in our notes. I had a hard time at first (thinking about how to represent some terms through drawings for better memory retention took up so much of my time) but then I got the hang of it and I tried to apply it to my other classes as well.
Now that I’m in Psych, and statistics and tons of terms are involved, I once again modified the way I take down notes (so you see, note-taking methods may vary in each individual and in each field of study). This is my new system of note-taking:
Messy but understandable
My mechanical pencil is my new best friend
Arrows are the new bullets
Draw if you can
Feel the flow of the topic
Here’s a page from my Psychological Statistics notebook using this method:
I write the topic on the upper-left side of the paper, and start to branch out the details using arrows. It doesn’t matter where I go, as long as I don’t stop and think about the placement.
REVISION NOTES With my schedule this semester, I no longer have the time to rewrite my lecture notes and make them neat and cute. So when I revise, my notes are transferred to index cards and they would usually look like this:
I write down how I understand a term, and how I can remember it. (I hope this addresses the question of an anon who asked, “How do you make your flashcards? Do they have questions in the front and answers at the back? Or do you just summarise your notes?)
Then, I separate the index cards according to topic using index dividers (which you can see in this post). If you’re from the same country as I am, the brand is Valiant, and I got a set of 25 dividers for Php. 24.75 at NBS.
So to end this lengthy post, I strongly suggest that you experiment with different note-taking methods or create one that you feel at ease with. If you feel like your current method is no longer effective, then maybe it’s time for a change.
Hope this helps even just a little bit! xoxo, Ariadne