Note Taking Systems

The Cornell Method

The Cornell method provides a systematic format for condensing and organizing notes without laborious recopying. After writing the notes in the main space, use the left-hand space to label each idea and detail with a key word or “cue.”


Rule your paper with a 2 ½ inch margin on the left leaving a six-inch area on the right in which to make notes. During class, take down information in the six-inch area. When the instructor moves to a new point, skip a few lines. After class, complete phrases and sentences as much as possible. For every significant bit of information, write a cue in the left margin. To review, cover your notes with a card, leaving the cues exposed. Say the cue out loud, then say as much as you can of the material underneath the card. When you have said as much as you can, move the card and see if what you said matches what is written. If you can say it, you know it.


Organized and systematic for recording and reviewing notes. Easy format for pulling out major concept and ideas. Simple and efficient. Saves time and effort. “Do-it-right-in-the-first-place” system.



When to Use

In any lecture situation.

The Outlining Method

Dash or indented outlining is usually best except for some science classes such as physics or math.

  1. The information which is most general begins at the left with each more specific group of facts indented with spaces to the right.
  2. The relationships between the different parts is carried out through indenting.
  3. No numbers, letters, or Roman numerals are needed.


Listening and then write in points in an organized pattern based on space indention. Place major points farthest to the left. Indent each more specific point to the right. Levels of importance will be indicated by distance away from the major point. Indention can be as simple as or as complex as labeling the indentations with Roman numerals or decimals. Markings are not necessary as space relationships will indicate the major/minor points.


Well-organized system if done right. Outlining records content as well as relationships. It also reduces editing and is easy to review by turning main points into questions.


Requires more thought in class for accurate organization. This system may not show relationships by sequence when needed. It doesn’t lend to diversity of a review attach for maximum learning and question application. This system cannot be used if the lecture is too fast.

When to Use

The outline format can be used if the lecture is presented in outline organization. This may be either deductive (regular outline) or inductive (reverse outline where minor points start building to a major point). Use this format when there is enough time in the lecture to think about and make organization decisions when they are needed. This format can be most effective when your note taking skills are super sharp and you can handle the outlining regardless of the note taking situation.


  • Extrasensory perception
    • definition: means of perceiving without use of sense organs.
      • three kinds
        • telepathy: sending messages
        • clairvoyance: forecasting the future
        • psychokinesis: perceiving events external to situation
      • current status
        • no current research to support or refute
        • few psychologists say impossible
        • door open to future

The Mapping Method

Mapping is a method that uses comprehension/concentration skills and evolves in a note taking form which relates each fact or idea to every other fact or idea. Mapping is a graphic representation of the content of a lecture. It is a method that maximizes active participation, affords immediate knowledge as to its understanding, and emphasizes critical thinking.


This format helps you to visually track your lecture regardless of conditions. Little thinking is needed and relationships can easily be seen. It is also easy to edit your notes by adding numbers, marks, and color coding. Review will call for you to restructure thought processes which will force you to check understanding. Review by covering lines for memory drill and relationships. Main points can be written on flash or note cards and pieced together into a table or larger structure at a later date.


You may not hear changes in content from major points to facts.

When to Use

Use when the lecture content is heavy and well-organized. May also be used effectively when you have a guest lecturer and have no idea how the lecture is going to be presented.


The Charting Method

If the lecture format is distinct (such as chronological), you may set up your paper by drawing columns and labeling appropriate headings in a table.


Determine the categories to be covered in the lecture. Set up your paper in advance by columns headed by these categories. As you listen to the lecture, record information (words, phrases, main ideas, etc.) into the appropriate category.


Helps you track conversation and dialogues where you would normally be confused and lose out on relevant content. Reduces amount of writing necessary. Provides easy review mechanism for both memorization of facts and study of comparisons and relationships.


Few disadvantages except learning how to use the system and locating the appropriate categories. You must be able to understand what’s happening in the lecture

When to Use

Test will focus on both facts and relationships. Content is heavy and presented fast. You want to reduce the amount of time you spend editing and reviewing at test time. You want to get an overview of the whole course on one big paper sequence.


The Sentence Method


Write every new thought, fact or topic on a separate line, numbering as you progress.


Slightly more organized than the paragraph. Gets more or all of the information. Thinking to tract content is still limited.


Can’t determine major/minor points from the numbered sequence. Difficult to edit without having to rewrite by clustering points which are related. Difficult to review unless editing cleans up relationship.

When to Use

Use when the lecture is somewhat organized, but heavy with content which comes fast. You can hear the different points, but you don’t know how they fit together. The instructor tends to present in point fashion, but not in grouping such as “three related points.”

Three Examples:

Example 1:

A revolution is any occurrence that affects other aspects of life, such as economic life, social life, and so forth. Therefore revolutions cause change. (See page 29 to 30 in your text about this.)

Sample Notes:

Revolution - occurrence that affects other aspects of life: e.g., econ., socl., etc. C.f. text, pp. 29-30

Example 2:

Melville did not try to represent life as it really was. The language of Ahab, Starbuck, and Ishmael, for instance, was not that of real life.

Sample Notes:

Mel didn’t repr. life as was; e.g., lang. of Ahab, etc. not of real life.

Example 3:

At first, Freud tried conventional, physical methods of treatment such as giving baths, massages, rest cures, and similar aids. But when these failed, he tried techniques of hypnosis that he had seen used by Jean-Martin Charcot. Finally, he borrowed an idea from Jean Breuer and used direct verbal communication to get an unhypnotized patient to reveal unconscious thoughts.

Sample Notes:

Freud 1st – used phys. trtment; e.g., baths, etc. This fld. 2nd – used hypnosis (fr. Charcot) Finally – used dirct vrb. commun. (fr. Breuer) - got unhynop, patnt to reveal uncons. thoughts.

anonymous asked:

I am not smart. I am literally one of those gifted kids that did not learn how to learn and I am going to suffet at university.. If I get zhere.. I want to be a scientist but whats the point if I am so stupid??? Everyonr thinks I am smart but I am not.. It makrs me want to not live anymore.

Hey anon,

I completely understand how you feel. I mean, being “gifted” in elementary/high school kinda sets you up badly because things feel easy and you don’t learn how to do hard work. I was the same way, I never studied for a test until college. And, yeah, it sucks to learn how when you’re older, but it is possible.

I’d recommend looking at some books of learning methods and studying. Maybe hang out on some studyblrs to see what others are doing. Some of my favorite things are rewriting notes (I try to do this weekly and then recopy them before exams), making study sheets and note sheets, and teaching other people about the things I’m learning. My definition of “other people” is pretty vague here, though. I studied mineralogy, one of my hardest classes, by teaching it to my stuffed dog.

I understand what you mean about science and feeling like you need to be smart. I mean, I almost dropped out of school this semester because I was so scared of messing things up and not being good enough. But you know what? That’s what science is! It’s making mistakes and messing things up. I talked to my advisor and said i was having trouble because i was worried about doing badly and he was like. “Well. You’re going to mess up. We all mess up. and when you do, that’s ok, you just try again.”

I’m not gonna lie, science is hard. There’s a lot of work that goes into it. But we ALL make mistakes. I know there’s a perception in society that scientists have it all together, but half the time we have no idea what we’re doing. And that’s ok, because that comes with the territory of trying new things.

Being smart or not smart doesn’t define who you are or your worth. Sure, it affects how difficult things are, but mostly how difficult things are the first time you do them. Once you become used to something, I think you’ll find it isn’t as hard as you thought the first time.

I know this is a super long answer, and I’m sorry. But I think it’s important. The image you see of “scientists” isn’t who we are. We’re a bunch of anxious, socially awkward people who are doing our best to advance humanity and fix problems. And I think that, if you enjoy the sciences, science is something worth pursuing.

Stay strong.



J'ai une dissert pour lundi que je dois faire en urgence, sinon j'aurais jamais fini à temps, j'ai mon devoir de maths à finir de recopier, et j'ai ma chambre à ranger. Joie. En plus demain les parents vont me réveiller tôt pour que je reprenne le rythme, car 11h pour se réveiller, c'est pas top. Ouai…

anonymous asked:

would jane have a blog of aesthetic pictures of food

fuck yeah but she’d also post recopies and post her own cooking videos. and every now and then she’d post detective things that don’t fit into her blogs a e s t h e t i c but she does it anyway

04.30.16 // Trying to get Chemistry down before the AP exam on Monday. I’ve been recopying all my old notes for the past two weeks. All I can do now is do practice questions and  hope I’ll remember everything when exam time comes. Featuring my new Chromebook.

anonymous asked:

Heyy! I have a question :) (sorry my english is not very good... bc i speak french :) ) do you think that make your notes pretty is useful & helpful? because when i am re-writing them, i think that i am wasting my time... maybe it depends on the subject i am studying, idk... ^^'

Hey I’m french too!

J’essaie de faire des note les plus claires et jolies possibles en cours directement. Je m’autorise seulement à les recopier si je n’ai rien d’autre à faire ou s’il faut absolument que je le fasse car la première prise de notes n’était pas terrible. Lorsque je ré-écris mes notes, je profite  pour ajouter des des infos supplémentaires non vues en cours (: . Si tu trouve que cela te faire perdre du temps mais ne t’aide pas à apprendre ne le fait pas ou essaye de le faire tout en essayant d’apprendre (:

Taking biochem can be daunting. Think about all those pathways and reactions to remember! But don’t just use rote memorization for everything - be a smart studier and think about the course material in unique ways that will help you succeed.

1. Use a multi-notebook system

Try keeping separate notebooks for in-class notes and out-of-class review. One of my most helpful study techniques for remembering pathways is to copy them down in a more organized way to review over time. I usually use a binder with looseleaf for taking notes in class. The day after the lecture, I recopy my notes into a smaller notebook, like a Moleskine. Choose a pretty notebook to cheer yourself up! I always take my time making sure the notes are accurate and well-ordered so that I can use them as a reference for the rest of the semester. Taking the time to make a nice notebook of class material can be especially helpful when it is time to review for the final. It also allows you to refer back to the course’s content in future semesters or for tutoring.

2. Make notecards for specific reactions

It’s probably common sense that drawing pathway reactions is the best way to remember them! However, you might be surprised how well flashcards can hit the material home. Draw the catalyzed reaction on the front of the card and write the enzyme name on the back. You can also use fine-point highlighters or colored pens to mark the “active” parts of the reaction – what exactly is changing from one intermediate to the next.  

3. Put reactions into words, not just drawings

This idea works well for when you draw out pathways. Instead of just drawing each reaction, try to sum up what happens in a single sentence. It helps you think about the end goal of the reaction and why it’s important for the pathway as a whole. If you get stuck, just look at the catalyzing enzyme’s name – they often give hints to what the underlying reaction is. For example, most kinases transfer phosphate groups, just like phosphofructokinase adds a phosphate group to fructose.

4. Use your imagination to visualize pathways

Remember the “mind palace” from Sherlock? People are naturally good at remembering what they’ve seen; even though biochemical processes are very tiny, we can still use our visual predispositions. Picturing each reaction in your mind’s eye can bring the magic of biochemistry to life. Don’t be afraid to look directly at your notes while you do this. After you know most of the reactions, you may also be able to do it with your eyes closed! (It’s a pretty therapeutic form of meditation.)

5. Approach reactions from an organic chemistry mindset

All types of chemistry are interconnected. If you know organic, use it! Most biochemical processes follow organic mechanisms, with the addition of enzymatic catalysis. If you have to draw out biochemical mechanisms, make sure you include curved arrows and charges. You can also use partial charges or electronegativity analysis to understand why reactions proceed the way they do. There are important underlying organic themes in every single pathway. Remember, understanding the bigger picture is the only way to understand the smaller pictures!  

Good luck!

  • terushima’s the kid that revises his notes before every class
  • he also recopies them down every night to make sure he clarifies any incomplete notes
  • he has glasses for class and contacts for volleyball
  • he and tsukishima have met each other at the library by coincidence and ended up studying together for a few hours on occasion
  • he’s only ever failed one exam in his life and he cried for an hour
  • he never pulls all-nighters because he believes in a good night’s sleep to start the day right
  • he’s meticulously crafted playlists for studying

But she didn’t care about anything below the neck.

She would never take a bath.

I would say, “Taxi. Take a bath.” I’d run the water and she would go into the bathroom with her bag and stay in there for an hour. I’d yell, “Are you in the tub?” “Yes, I’m in the tub.” Splash splash. But then I’d hear her tip-toeing around the bathroom and I’d peek through the keyhole and she’d be standing in front of the mirror, putting on more makeup over what was already caked on her face. She would never put water on her face—only those degreasers, those little tissue-thin papers you press on that remove the oils without ruining the makeup. She used those.

A few minutes later I’d peek through the keyhole again and she’d be recopying her address book—or somebody else’s address book, it didn’t matter—or else she’d be sitting with a yellow legal pad making the list of all the men she’d ever been to bed with, dividing them into three categories— “Slept,” “Fucked,” and “Cuddled.” If she made a mistake on the last line and it looked messy, she’d tear it off and start all over. After an hour she’d come out of the bathroom and I’d say, gratuitously, “You didn’t take a bath.” “Yes. Yes I did.”
                               Chapter 2. Love (Prime) 
                                           The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

does anyone else use the system of having 2 separate sets of notes for classes? i.e. one book for taking messy notes in class and a second, organized set to reiterate what you know and make it easier to understand?

if you do, and you have tips for me…

what do you do to stay on top of recopying your class notes into the organized notebook? do you take a day/large chunk of a day to just sit down and do nothing else? do you make sure to set aside time asap after class to recopy?

i’m really, really liking this method. it’s helping me to remember what i’ve learned a lot, so i don’t want to stop doing it… but the problem is i’m taking 4 college courses, so i’m struggling to throw in time to do it because i feel like it’s an unjustified amount of time where i could be doing something else… (i’m pretty sure my main problem is my silly brain trying to make me anxious about everything.)

but really– i’m just wondering how other people approach it, and what they have found works best for them.


friday, october 30 // 11:58

it’s raining absolute buckets here in atx (like, flash floods and tornado warnings kind of weather!) and all my classes were cancelled! so i’m happy to finally have some time to catch up on my bullet journal! 

(these photos were taken about 45 min apart – i’m telling you, my secret is just loads of washi tape and pretty pictures. it does wonders.) 

i’m sat with some great tea, a good book, and i’m looking forward to having this whole day to myself. i’m gonna do some work on my thesis a little later, and maybe recopy some science notes. i also have a whole case of cinnamon shortbread i made yesterday, so. c:

may your friday be peaceful and lovely!


[Post-it/Stickies Guide]


Ways to Use Post-it/Stickies:

1. Flags:

  • They are quite small. 
  • Can be used as bookmarks. 
  • To note important pages.
  • To write down an important word/key word to that you wish to study.
  • A small memo.

2. Mini Sticky Notes.

  • Bigger Surface Area to Write on than the flag.
  • You can write down a word on one side and the definition on the other.
  • You can recopy an example done in class (if it is not too long…)
  • You can sketch a mini-diagram/graph.
  • Still use it as a bookmark.
  • Write down Important Tasks/Memos.
  • Motivational Quotes/Inspirational Sayings.
  • A Short List of Things to Buy
  • To-Do List
  • Cover something up if you make a mistake.
  • Doodles

3. Sticky Notes.

  • Able to write several definitions.
  • Longer Examples.
  • Bigger diagrams/Graphs/Tables.
  • A Longer To-Do List.
  • You can use the Bullet Journal system on this.
  • Important Memos/Dates/Events.
  • Grocery List.
  • Quotes/Proverbs.
  • Doodles.
  • You can use it as a bookmark, but the flag would have been a better choice.
  • Grammar Rules.
  • Bigger Area to Write.

Best of Luck.

Je supporte de moins en moins sortir de chez moi en ce moment c’est horrible les gens dans le bus qui puent la cigarette à 7h et qui se collent à moi même s’il y a plein de place et ceux qui s’agglutinent devant la porte pour monter alors que j’essaye de descendre et les gens qui s’arrêtent devant moi dans la rue et qui se remettent à marcher au moment où je les dépasse et les gens qui arrivent en retard à tous les cours et ceux qui ont toujours pas appris après plus de 10 ans à l’école qu’ils doivent se taire quand le prof parle et ceux qui toussent et la meuf qui suit pas le cours et qui penche la tête sur ma feuille toutes les dix secondes pour recopier ce que j’ai écrit et celle qui regarde ce que je fais sur mon pc sans même chercher à être discrète et les groupes qui discutent dans le couloir en laissant aucune place pour passer et le bus qui se tape tous les feux rouges et les enfants qui crient et les voitures qui veulent pas me laisser traverser au passage piéton et au fil de la journée la mauvaise humeur s’accumule jusqu’à me laisser au bord des larmes mais il faut recommencer le lendemain et jpp