Student Collaborating

Take Note: Not All Notes Are Made Equal

If you dread taking notes in class because you know you’ll never make sense out of your frantic scrawls later on, this article is for you.

Taking notes in class is not just an excellent prophylactic against sleeping in front of your teacher, it’s also a tried and tested way to make friends and be the smart, yet popular student –whose school notes everyone wants to borrow. On a more serious note though, knowing how to take notes effectively and efficiently will not only improve your retention rates in school, but make you a much smarter learner for life. Pair these note taking strategies with NoteLedge, and you’ll smash every learning curve thrown at you!

Cornell Notes

One of the most common note strategies taught in schools, Cornell Note-taking uses  detailed notes in a wide, main column, with key themes,  questions, and a brief summary in separate sections. Cornell is pretty word-dense. It provides excellent level of detail, making it ideal for open-book examinations.  Cornell Notes template also doubles up as a  post-lecture review, or  pre-examination revision tool where higher level of detail is called for.

Cornell Notes made with NoteLedge
If all those words are too much to take in, use NoteLedge’s drawing tools to add graphs and images.

Bullet Journals

There’s a reason why Buzzfeed and Gawker are rife with “Top 10 [X]” articles, also known as ‘listicles’. Lists of bulleted points make for quick, convenient reading, and an odd sense of satisfaction when you reach the end of a list. You can add gorgeous, personalized Bullet Journals to your note-taking and checklist arsenals with NoteLedge. Just make sure to use different colours to sort the lists into different categories for easy identification.

Bullet journal made with NoteLedge
You live your life in color, so why should your to-do list be in grayscale?
Bullet Journal made with NoteLedge
Less is more when it comes to Bullet Journals, so make every point count!

Mind Maps

Mind mapping, a technique popularized in the 70’s by Tony Buzan, allows you to develop not just broad perspective of your field, but brainstorming skills as well. Mind maps let you visualize links between disparate ideas – an ability that forms the bedrock of most innovation.

Using NoteLedge, you can create a virtually limitless — and very colorful — mind map record of all stages in your projects, brainstorming sessions and thesis development. This is a must-have for any design-focused course or long-term project that needs evaluation at every stage.

What’s more, you can share your NoteLedge maps with group members, assigning each one a different color code for comments. This makes it easy to identify free riders in project-work teams, making NoteLedge the ideal project notes app for both students and educators.

Mind Maps made with NoteLedge
Use NoteLedge’s limitless color options to code your ideas.

Charting Method 

When it comes to making comparisons, nothing beats the Charting Method. If you have checked out spec comparisons for phone models, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Questions comparing differences and similarities occur in almost every subject, so make sure you add Charting to your note taking tool-kit. Next time your lecturer says, “The difference between X and Y is…” that’s your cue to start drawing columns in NoteLedge!

Charting Method made with NoteLedge
A Wild comparison appears! Charting Method is super effective! 

Smart Learning

Ultimately, note-taking favors the path of least resistance. If you struggle to memorize the many arcane symbols and abbreviations you’ve invented for yourself to take “smarter notes”, you are smartly siphoning off precious time and energy from your core subjects. Keep your notation simple, and NoteLedge takes care of the rest.

While simple is beautiful, many students make the mistake of using only one note-taking strategy for all their learning needs. This is a recipe for disaster considering everyone assimilates knowledge differently, and different subjects favor different note strategies.

Finally, the flipped classroom is coming your way soon. It is smart learning at its best, so why wait for the collaborative learning atmosphere to come to you? Download NoteLedge, the best note-taking app, and start sharing notes and project work with your classmates today!

Like our note-taking tips? Share them with your classmates, so they don’t need to beg you for note.



About the author

Sanjeed V K

Sanjeed graduated in Life Sciences from the National University of Singapore after-which he discovered his innate passion for communicating science and technology. He earned his editorial / journalism chops at an academic publisher for over seven years.

Having lived and worked in Singapore for most of his life, he is now based in Taiwan where he develops content for the country's booming technology and lifestyle sectors. With "Content is King", as his motto, Sanjeed uses simple, straight-forward prose to deliver easy-to-understand nuggets of insight.

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