Note Taking Methods and Masterpost

check-out-our-latest-e-course-4There are two main ways people take notes - on paper or electronically. Each method has it's ups and downs and depending on the class, one method may work better than the other.

On Paper: 

  1. One of the best methods I have found for taking notes on paper is the Cornell Method.
  2. Similarly, rewriting your notes to be neater/adding in more information from readings is a really good way to review and to make your notes legible if you take notes really fast.
  3. For any information that is related to each other, diagraming and mind-mapping the information can help explain concepts and be easier to follow.
  4. I tend to use color coded notebooks/binders to organize my notes when I hand write them and I try to rewrite/color code/ and diagram where I can.

Electronically (on a Computer): 

  1. Typing is really the only way to take notes effectively on a computer, and there are some apps and programs that can help you stay organized while doing this.
  2. There are lots of ways to make your notes look cool and interesting with a computer, so if you are a visual person, I recommend this form of note taking.
  3. Google Drive is a great tool to use to organize your notes and classes in different folders. I use it a lot to keep track of research, organize the notes and handouts for classes, and to have easy access to my notes wherever I am.
  4. Notability is another app/tool that is great for keeping your notes together across a platform of devices. You can also back up your notes to Google Drive to have access to them there if needed.
  5. Ask your professor if you are not sure if they will allow you to have a laptop in class.

Electronically (on a Tablet): 

  1. You can type or write notes on a tablet it all really depends on the best method for you.
  2. I again recommend that you use an app like Notability or Google Drive to make sure your notes are accessible at all times.
  3. This way can be really helpful if you have a good note taking method or if you like the look of electronic notes but still want to hand write all of the notes that you have.
  4. Ask your professor if you are not sure if they will allow you to have a tablet in class.

Other Forms of Note Taking: 

  1. Video Recordings
    1. Make sure you ask your professor, this can be a bit hard for the professor to agree to because not everyone likes to be on a camera.
  2. Audio Recordings
    1. Again, ask your professor, though most may not have an issue with this.

My Note Taking Method: 

I use a combination of my computer and iPad to take my notes. I use the Notability app to consolidate all of the notes that I have into one place and I back it all up onto a Google Drive folder. All of my handouts/resources I have for each class are consolidated into different folders in Google Drive so that I can access them easily. I use an Apple Pencil with my iPad Pro to take handwritten notes using Notability. I also use Notability when I type notes as well because it is easier to consolidate all of the information into one area.