Everyone needs a notebook to take notes.
Writing down facts and ideas is one of the most important methods that we use to recall information.
However, taking notes the right way is not as simple as it sounds. It is nearly impossible to write down everything that you hear, which is precisely why you should use a note-taking method.
Using a note-taking system will help organize your notes properly while allowing you to stay focused on the task at hand. Whether you are jotting down information for work or school, keep reading to discover the top 5 ways to take notes, and how to apply each method.
5 Ways to Take Notes
This is perhaps the most common method for taking notes. The Outline Method comes naturally to most people and is easy to implement.
As the name suggests, this method requires you to structure your notes in an outline form using bullet points. Begin by writing the main topics and add bullet points underneath to add related subtopics.
The Outline Method is useful because it helps to highlight the key points in a logical manner, while giving a clean structure to your notes. This particular method can be used in a variety of situations, making it extremely versatile.
The Cornell Method is a unique note-taking technique that separates notes into easily digestible summaries.
In this method, you divide your page into three sections: cues, notes, and summary.
- The notes section is where your main note-taking will take place. These notes can be structured using whichever method suits you best (the most common method is the Outline Method).
- The cues section should be written during or directly after your meeting or class. This section should be filled with the main points, important information, or larger ideas.
- The summary section should be written later as you are reviewing your notes. This will help you review and digest the information from your notes as you write the summary.
The Cornell Method is ideal for both lectures and meetings. By using this method, you will be able to summarize your notes systematically, extract main ideas, and cut down on reviewing time.
When it comes to complex subjects that have interlocking concepts, the Mind Map is an excellent choice for taking notes.
A Mind Map is essentially a diagram that is hierarchical and helps you visually organize information. Start by writing down the main topic in the center of the page and draw a circle around it. Break it down by drawing “branches” to the keywords that represent the key themes that flow from the main topic. You can break down the key themes even more by adding sub-concepts to them.
The mapping method is a great way for visual learners to take notes and is especially useful when learning about relationships between topics.
The Box Method is a relatively new, but useful way of taking notes.
To use this method, you will need to draw a dedicated box for each section of notes. The idea behind this method is that it keeps notes that are related to each other grouped in a box.
The Box Method helps to segregate your notes, allowing you to focus on one box at a time while reviewing them.
The Charting Method is a note-taking system that uses columns to organize information. This is a great way to take notes for topics that involve a lot of facts and statistics.
Using this method, the information will be organized in columns and will look similar to a spreadsheet. Each column should represent a unique category, with the details of each category filled out in the rows below.
The Charting Method helps organize facts in a way that makes them easy to compare while highlighting key information for each topic.
5 Ways to Take Notes: Final Thoughts
Whether you are recording information for work or school, note-taking is crucial. How you take notes can have a great impact on the way that you recall information. If your notes are messy, it will be difficult to review them later and even tougher to extract important facts and data.
By using the 5 methods outlined above, you will be on your way to taking effective notes in no time!
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