Taking notes 101 and helpful tips

Taking notes 101 and helpful tips

Studying isn’t easy. Learning HOW to study and take notes is excruciating. I know, guys, I understand. But that’s why I’ve decided to share some of my best tips in order to teach you how to take notes effectively and easily.

This applies to any subject. By this point many of us students may think that there is no formula or strategy for studying, but let me enlighten you a bit.

The “cause and effect” method

Everything has a cause and an effect. When you’re reading something for school, try to highlight the cause with a certain colour and the effect with another. You won’t believe how easily you will start rationalizing information.

This is a crucial step for any subject you are studying or doing research on because not only will you get a better understanding of what you are reading, but also this will organize the ideas in your brain that can easily get jumbled up.

If you want to memorize something in a non-mechanical manner, you have to have an organised train of thought, so this is a great starting point.

Taking notes 101 and helpful tips

Separate ideas with line across the page

This is actually an interpreter’s pro tip. Interpreters, when taking notes, separate ideas by straight lines across the page because whenever they see a rectangle on a piece of paper they think of is as a single idea that is composed of certain pieces of information linked to it. It is a visual method for arranging information on the page, that is easy for the eye to identify and that makes it easy to remember. No wonder they can render 9-13 minute speeches from memory using minimal notes, right?

Key words

Whenever you are trying to memorize something, you will find it easier to do when using keywords. Let’s say you are reading materials from the teacher. Each idea could be comprised of one single word if you identify it well enough.

My tip is to write a few main ideas, find what they all have in common, and then write a single word that would represent the common element in bold or with a coloured pen. Works wonders. If you do this the right way, whenever you will see a single word on a page, you will automatically think of all the information regarding it. Cool right? Work smarter not harder!

Taking notes 101 and helpful tips


Schemes represent your train of thought in written form. Thus, you will have to think of a number of symbols. Think about how you link pieces of information to one another and then find connectors for each. For some, it may be better to use mathematic symbols. An example would be: “Not pay attention => fail”; “trash = pollution” or “Plants <3 water” and so on and so forth.

Also in this category belong bullet points and lines. It is very easy to add information if you don’t feel like you are writing enough just by using symbols. Just draw arrows starting from the word you want to describe, or add a year to if it’s an event, and write whatever you need after them.

They will make your life so much easier because the schemes are simple, easy to read, and easy to visualize, as it is the illustrative form of how you interpret the situation/information. Notes are basically your brain on paper. How easy can that be?

So, students, don’t be afraid of studying and assignments. There is a way to learn them all. You don’t have to spend hours trying to memorize things you will forget the minute you leave the exam room.

School is about understanding and getting an education, not about being able to remember everything word by word. I encourage you to try one of my tips. You won’t be disappointed. Lots of luck in your next exam session!




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