By Patricia May P. Catan
NOTE-TAKING is one skill that students need to master in order to survive the (sometimes) harsh university life. Notes are the lifeline of every student, especially when exams are fast approaching. If you want to up your note-taking skills, read on for the 411 on how to effectively take down notes.
Put a bit of color in them.
Black and blue inks look a little dull. Add a bit of color by experimenting with other shades to make your notes look more alive.
Don’t be afraid to get creative.
Admit it, taking down notes get boring at some point. Bring out the artistic side in you and incorporate it in your notes. Maybe add your favorite stickers and washi tapes for example?
Make use of graphs or charts.
Graphs or charts are helpful when your notes look all over the place. You can organize them by using graphs or charts for easier understanding.
Use personal keywords.
You can use personal keywords in your notes if you have words or phrases during a lecture that are hard to recall and understand.
Make your notes short and concise.
Don’t copy the entire paragraph or write down everything your professor says. Instead, gather what you can comprehend and write them in phrases. Lengthy notes will only give you a headache when it’s study time.
Leave blank spaces.
Leaving blank spaces when writing down your notes will allow you to add comments, both from you and your professor. You can also add other relevant information you forgot to jot down while in class.
Develop your own system of abbreviations and symbols.
This is especially applicable when there’s a long list of points during a lecture. Developing your own abbreviations and symbols are more effective than simply writing everything down.
Always start a new lecture on a new page.
Don’t get your notes mixed up with previous lectures, so always start a new lecture on a new page. This way, it’s easier for you to navigate your way around your notes.
Use visuals if possible.
It’s a proven fact that some students study or understand lectures better with visuals involved. If you belong to this group, use visuals, like sketches in note-taking.
Invest in a good notebook.
Lastly, it’s advisable to invest in good notebooks because you’ll be using them for quite some time. Whether you prefer binders or big notepads, it doesn’t matter as long as you choose a durable one that works best for you.