Genius Note-taking Strategies You Need Right Now

5 genius tips to learn how to organize your notes efficiently, increase active recall of information, Have fun doing it! (with colors ofc)

5 min read

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5 Genius Ways to Take Notes

You are going to learn secret ways on how to:

  1. organize your notes efficiently
  2. increase active recall of information
  3. Have fun doing it! (with colors ofc)

You won’t have to re-write your notes after following these awesome tips!

Because, who has time to re-write their notes right?

Lesson #1 Textbook Notes

Textbook notes have a different approach compared to the lecture or powerpoint notes.

You have to take a huge chunk of extremely detailed information and be able to translate it into your study language which is a skill in itself.

Here are my 5 tried and true tips to help you organize, recall, and have fun taking notes:

Tip #1: Write the title, header, and date

When you open your textbook, notebook, and gather all your fancy pens and highlighters, the first step is to write the date in this format: Tuesday, 8/11/20

This will help you to know when you took your notes so you can refer back to them when you are studying for an exam.

You will say, “Oh, what were the notes we took on Tuesday?” Boom. You have it written down in the top right hand corner.

Next step is the big header: Unit: Chapter, Topic on the top of the page.

Under that are tiny headers or sub-headers.

Tip #2: Write in Q&A format

Writing in questions promotes independent thought and may prompt you to research by going deeper through Google or asking your professor.

This is what you need. Higher thought really distinguishes excellent and successful students.

(Talking to your teacher about questions you have builds a relationship. It tells them you want to be in the class to learn and not just be there because you were forced to)

Writing questions and answers will help you to increase active recall of information.

When you go back and study these notes, it will be so easy because you just have to look at the questions and test yourself.

Write your unanswered questions for your professor on a sticky note in the top right corner of your notes under the date.

That way, you can ask them the next day in class. Make sure to write the answers on the sticky note too.

Tip #3: Draw next to your notes (if not all over them)

I love this tip because visuals and quick diagrams help me to remember the topic better.

Remember pictures are worth a thousand words. So on your next test, drawing that picture on your notes will really help you score some extra points!

Draw stars and arrows to convey importance and compare different ideas.

I especially love this drawing tip when it comes to science classes like Psychology, Anatomy, Biology, and Chemistry.

Tip #4: Write key details on the left margin

Write main ideas on the left side of the margin for easy reference.

Write key topics and summary points for when you get mentally drained from studying.

When you begin to flip through your notes, you will be able to see the main ideas on the left hand side of the page easily.

Tip #5 Use 1 color theme and highlight

Using a color theme is more for aesthetics to actually make your notes a pleasure to read.

Besides a black-inked pen, choose 1 color for your theme.

I like to use all green for the header, sticky notes, and even the ink.

Favorite note-taking essentials:


5 Genius Ways to Take Textbook Notes

Tip #1: Write the title, header, and date

Tip #2: Write in Q&A format

Tip #3: Draw next to your notes (if not all over them)

Tip #4: Write key details on the left margin

Tip #5 Use 1 color and highlight

How do you take notes?

Share some great tips for us!

Remember to check out these awesome posts on college and productivity in the College At Home With Me series!

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