Note Taking 101

Note taking is almost as important as studying itself especially since notes are the tools most likely to be used to study. There are several ways to take notes, but as long as the studying gets done there is no right or wrong way to take notes. Some easy but effective note-taking tips are to rewrite things in an understandable language, to color code, to write neatly and to organize the notes being taken.


The art of color coding seems to be a pretty simple process, but organization skills are key to color coding notes for any class. Some ways to take notes in color are to use different colored pens when writing to put emphasis on certain things. For example, if writing in a blue pen, one can use a red pen for key or important words.


Another effective way to color code notes is to organize colors by the subject. For myself, I like to use purple folders/binders for English, red for math, green for science, and yellow for social studies. The other subjects are blue, white or black depending on my personal opinion of the class as a whole. Utilizing the rainbow when note taking is a very tedious yet effective measure to use for ease of studying later.


Having neat handwriting is not innate for everyone, but writing in the best handwriting possible is a necessity for effective note taking. Even if that means re-writing any notes taken during a class time, that’s a study tool in itself, and it can help to easily read what has been said.


On the topic of rewriting notes, no one should be afraid to re-word notes in his or her own words. Sometimes, listening to an instructor while trying to write everything he or she is saying can make students forget the information being learned. For people like me who like to write everything exactly how the powerpoint says it, sometimes we need to take a break and just rewrite everything to make sense in our own heads.


Rewriting notes may seem tedious, but keeping everything organized is a completely different task in itself. Maybe color coding isn’t for everyone, but labeling is another way to be sure to stay organized with notes for classes. By having important topics or subjects labeled, studying can be much less time-consuming in terms of preparing materials or trying to find that graded paper from last Tuesday.


Note taking is vital for successful studying, and I hope these tips can be helpful. Being a note taking professional can lead to more organized studying, and organized studying is one way to relieve stress.