By Katie Azevedo, M.Ed.
I’ve covered annotation-taking strategies more than any other topic on my web log and YouTube tutorials. That’southward considering taking notes is a pillar of learning, no matter your situation. Taking notes is likewise super important for professionals to master – so whether you’re a student or a worker bee (or both!), read on.
This mail service isn’t and then much about
to take notes as information technology is about how to proceed your notes organized. If y’all need help with your bones note-taking strategy, then get-go here. If you have ADHD, and then after you read the tips below, check out this note-taking strategy for ADHD.
If your notes are sloppy, disorganized, misplaced, illegible or incomplete, they’re useless. Below are some practical note organization ideas for keeping your notes organized so that they actually … work.
Note organization ideas
The following note organization tips volition aid y’all proceed your notes in a constant state of clarity and usefulness. I suggest you follow all seven strategies, but starting with merely one is better than nothing.
1. Consistently take notes in the same location.
You should have a defended notebook for each form, one that is strictly for taking notes. Your notebook can be analog or digital, but it should non be both. In other words, you lot should non take half your science notes in Google Docs and the other half in a paper notebook; pick a organisation and commit. Whatsoever notebook you choose should have one singular purpose: to have notes.
ii. Programme time to rewrite your notes.
Out of all the 7 note organization ideas in this list, this tip is by far the most of import.
Note-taking is not unremarkably a one-and-done process. Sure, you might come across insanely beautiful and creative academic notes on Instagram, just I’1000 assuming yous know those works of art are hardly e’er the first draft. The first step in note-taking is
capture, which is the often-messy process of aimlessly writing things downward in some way that makes a footling sense. But people often ignore the 2nd function of the process, which is
This is when you go back to your messy outset-typhoon notes and make clean them upward. This frequently means rewriting them. At this point, you’d fill in missing data, reorganize the order of concepts, and generally jack up your notes. You lot should attempt to complete this process on the same twenty-four hour period that yous have your notes; otherwise, the information will no longer be readily attainable in your working memory.
3. Apply quality tools.
Practice not misfile quality tools with expensive or complicated tools. Yous should invest in some unproblematic quality notation-taking tools like notebooks with sturdy paper, smooth pens, and highlighters that appeal to you. If you’re a digital note-taker, you might prefer an up-leveled annotation-taking programme, but I’m a huge fan of adept ol’ Google Docs.
If you lot’re looking for a good note-taking notebook, these ones are my absolute favorite ones ever. It’s a discbound system, and then notes are easy to rearrange. No affiliate link or sponsorship here – merely a pure and honest recommendation.
4. Always date and title your notes.
For analog notes: always put the date and a topic at the top of every folio. Format this heading the same way each fourth dimension, and put it in the same location at the meridian of the page each time (for instance, centered, top left, or top right). See the paradigm below for heading ideas. For digital notes: name your files according to a consistent naming convention. You lot can put the appointment in the file name or on the summit of the certificate itself.
5. Leave extra spaces.
Go out at least one line between every note you take, with the exception of bullet points. See the image below. These extra spaces will not only let you apace recognize singled-out parts of your notes, but they also provide y’all with room to depict arrows, boxes, etc., or even to accept micro notes on your actual notes. Yep, that’southward a thing.
6. Use a simple pull-out feature.
Pull-out features are an excellent way to keep your notes organized. Digital notes and analog notes should have at least ane pull-out characteristic that emphasizes sure types of information. A pull-out feature could be a box, a circle, a squiggly underline – anything that draws attention to a part of the text. See an example in the paradigm below. Depending on the complication and subject area matter of your notes, anywhere between one and three pull-out features should exist enough.
7. Store your notes properly when done.
At the end of a unit, later on a unit test, salvage your notes for your midterm or final. To exercise then, get together all your notes from a unit, clip them together (if they’re analog), and store them somewhere out of the way but easily attainable for when yous will need them again. If yous’re taking notes in a notebook, you lot can either tear out the pages (I think I simply heard some of you gasp) or you can simply clip the pages together. Over the form of a semester or ii, yous should have several “packets” of organized unit notes that volition come in handy when studying for your midterms or finals.
Keeping your notes organized is not a one-and-done thing. It’s a daily process that yous accept to remember nearly each time yous take notes. Just as always, information technology’s the small daily habits that have the biggest payoff. Try these note organization ideas and see where they lead.