Note-taking is not just a method to record some information, it’s one of the most useful skills in studying and everyday life. It helps to understand and memorize material more easily and avoid wasting time, focus on important details and express yourself in any form you like by sketch, scheme or mind map. It also allows to structure things in an easy-to-understand from and quickly remember them when required.
Most people can drag out information from their memory more easily if they were taken notes during a lecture, business meeting or when just keeping a diary. A strong case for this practice is that taking notes incentives recollection and mental imagery of once heard and seen information. Human’s memory is as good as the memory of a machine, and you just need to learn how to effectively remember details which are stored in your mind. Here are universal tips about how to take notes properly:
- If you are familiar with the subject of conversation or lecture, outline a preliminary plan and list of key questions, prepare a free space in your notebook. Try to prepare in advance as many things as you can, so you could significantly save your time before you start taking notes and tune in to the right wave-length.
- Do not try to write all that speaker says or re-write whole text from some source. Make a framework from notes which can be supplemented with minor information further. Just skip some space to allow you to fill in more details later.
- Use a separate notebook for each subject and don’t forget to structure information by dividing text on paragraphs and sub-paragraphs, using numbered and bulleted lists, tables, and titles. Notes organized in a logical way are always more convenient than straight text.
- Develop your own system of abbreviations. By using abbreviations, you will speed up your note-taking and cover a bigger amount of information. Save abbreviation expansion to be sure you will not forget their meanings.
- Paraphrase! It’s simpler to read and put information into memory in your own thoughts than somebody’s.
- Review your notes after you finished writing them and add your comments, ideas and things-to-do while heard information is still fresh in your memory. Summarize and write what you think were the main points and what questions still remain opened.
- Use colors, outlines or tags to star key points, but be careful not to overdo your text with highlighting.
- Try all note-taking techniques from Cornell method to mind-mapping and charting to identify which one suits you better. Don’t be afraid to combine methods and experiment with your creativity.
Note-taking is an essential method that is commonly used in a daily life, studying, teaching and in many other professions. In all cases, these advices will help you to improve your note-taking skills and Outline app will become an ideal digital helper to collect, sort and structure notes and thereby make your life easier.