Taking notes is one of the most important things when it comes to attending lectures and processing all the information your professors are giving you.

However, most students get lazy and stop taking notes after a while, or simply limit their note-taking to copying down what’s already written in the lecture slides. This approach can be very bad for your studies, as you won’t have any way to review what has been done in class and will need to study the materials from scratch before the exams.

If you are looking to innovate your note taking-style, this post is perfect for you!Keep reading to find out what method suits you best!

1.For students who like to get a simple overview of topics

The outline method

This method allows you to write your notes in a very simple and clear structure by using bullet points. You just need to organise your writing in topics and subtopics!

2.For organised students who like to have a clear structure in their notes

Cornell method

This is one of the most famous note taking methods for students. In order to use this method, you should structure your page as follows:

-Small section for title and date

-Big section (about 70% of the space) for the main notes

-Small section to the left side for questions and comments (about 30% of the space)

-Small section in the lower part of the page to summarise what you remember from the lecture (after the lecture itself)

3.For the creative students who want to keep things visual

The mind maps

Mind maps allow you to organise your notes in concepts and highlight the relationships between the different ideas presented by the professor.

You can start by writing the central topic in the middle of the page and add nodes, branches and connections as you follow along the lecture. This method is great to grasp quickly what a lecture is about in a visual way, especially for subjects where abstract ideas are presented often.

4.For detail-oriented students who like to write all the information down

The sentence method

This method allows you to organise the notes in main sub-topics. Under each topic, you can write several sentences explaining in detail what the teacher just said. This doesn’t mean you need to add everything you hear: you should of course only keep the most relevant concepts and ideas.

5.For lazy students who want good notes with minimal effort

Integrating notes with lecture slides

If you don’t want to have a separate notebook for your notes, but instead aim at adding additional information to your lecture slides, this method is perfect for you.

You can print your lecture slides on A4 pages so you have space to take notes under the actual slide. This method is great if you want to minimize the effort and want to keep all the material together.

Now that know which method to use, you can start learning!Check our post about the best platforms to learn new skills! or another interesting blog post about note taking which you can find here: https://ivypanda.com/blog/everything-you-need-to-know-about-note-taking/

Categories: Student Life


Italian student living in Amsterdam and doing my Masters in Business Administration. Currently doing an internship at Studocu, where I write for the official blog among other things!


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