Notetaking 101: how to take good notes


Lesson One: 5 suggestions to help you succeed.
1. Take notes, but have a backup. In other words, have somebody else also taking notes you can check with later OR have the lecture or classroom session recorded, using a pocket recorder. That way, if you miss something, you will still have the information.

2. Divide your notepaper into two columns. One column, at the left, will be smaller than the main section. This note method will allow you to easily go to what is important later. If the teacher says, "remember this!" all you will have to do is make a notation in the left column, such as a star, and you can go there later to check it out. (Find out more about this kind of note-taking here.)

3. Don't try to take down every word. Try to squeeze what the teacher is saying into chunks of information. For example, you don't have to try to write, "Now, study everything in Chapter Two, because it will be on the test tomorrow." Your note-speak should be more like this: "Only Chap. 2 on test tomorrow."

4. Use a free-flowing pen that you have tested out. Nothing is harder on your hand than trying to print with a pencil. If you have never used a pen, try them out until you can find one that cursive works on and that feels right to you. Most of you that are reading this know cursive. If you don't, you are missing out. It's a lot faster.

5. Share your notes with a study group after typing them out. The simple act of typing them will engrave them into your mind better. And sharing them will help you see what others think is important.
More advice: Keep track of the notes from each class. You may want to invest in a separate section or notebook for each.

And here are some more links you may like:

The Divided Page - using a 2-column note page
11 Tips for Student Success 
10 Tips for Doing Well on Finals
Forming a Nontraditional (Student) Study Group
Got some more great note-taking ideas? List them below and I will repost this later with all of your ideas added. Thanks!
Some Nontrad links: The Nontrad site and blog Join Nontrads on Facebook Nontrads on Yahoo Nontrads on Twitter
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