Benefits of notetaking
Of all the stuff we learn in school, taking notes might be one of the most important things. After all, good notetaking is a lifeskill you will benefit from not just in school, but also business meetings, conferences, interviews etc.
Oddly enough, not every school teaches their students effective notetaking. I guess it's just one of those things you're supposed to figure out for yourself. But while experimenting by yourself is cool and all, sometimes it's good to get a helping hand.
Notetaking is especially important during college lectures. Lectures is where you can learn what your teachers think is important, and they might provide you with information you won't find elsewhere. Taking notes will also help you stay engaged and awake actively involved in the lecture.
Remember to start off by writing down the title of the lecture, the name of the course and the date. Common consensus amongst educators seems to be that pen and paper is not only the best tools for taking notes, but also helps you remember what you've written. And if nothing else, it will help you keep your notes safe if your laptop decides to die and you don't have a backup.
There are a lot of different techniques for taking notes, so if something doesn't work for you, keep an open mind and try different things. Like my parents said, college is the best place to experiment!
Don't write down everything
Effective notetaking is not about how much you write, but how much you can understand and remember.
Listen closely to what is being said before you write. Try isolating the core points of the lecture, and write keywords and use abbreviations instead of full sentences. It saves time, and your wrist will thank you for it. Spelling and grammar doesn't matter as long as the meaning is clear.
If you feel like you have problems writing fast enough, or find writing distracting when listening, try audio recording the lecture if you're allowed to.
Revise and rewrite as soon as possible
If you're like me, you might have a tendency to forget quickly. If so, make sure you rewrite all your keywords into full sentences that makes sense as soon as you can after the lecture. Add proper headings and subheadings, and again, I recommend you write by hand.
Rewriting your rewritten notes periodically is be a good way to make sure you understand and remember what you've learnt. Make sure you use different wording and structure rather than plagiarizing your previous note.
Keep your notes organized in separate folders, binders and notebooks for each subject. Mark them with different colors to easily identify them.
Decorate and style your notes
Got an artistic side or just feel like doodling? Decorating your notes can help make rewriting your notes more fun and help you provide visual aid, which in turn will aid your retention. Use different colors and add simple illustrations to help keep each note fresh and unique looking.
Styling notes might also provide incentive for you to take and rewrite more notes, as you will have more material to give epic makeovers.
We hope you found this article helpful! Good luck, and don't forget your notebook!