I often get SO many question via Instagram about how to take notes when studying. I honestly think that everyone’s technique is super different, so here are some tips on how to find a technique that works for you.
1 – USE THE FIRST TERM
Content-wise, this is probably the time where you can experiment the most with your note-taking style. The first half of my first term at uni was the time where I discovered my technique, because most of the content during this time was introductory to the subject – allowing me to play around with the way I wrote notes. This is PRIME TIME for you to figure out a method that suits you most, as the post-Christmas study rush will hit you hard, so make sure you’re technique is established by then.
2 – TRY A VARIETY
During the first experimental term, try a variety of different techniques. When I was trying to find out my technique, I probably tested about 4/5 different ways to approach textbooks, lectures, seminars etc before I found the right way for me. A good idea would be to write down what you do/don’t enjoy about a technique after you’ve tried it out for a bit, that way you’ll be able to identify what is/isn’t working for you and hopefully you’ll find a way to combine all the ‘is’ boxes into one method!
3 – THINK ABOUT YOUR LEARNING STYLE
Everyone learns differently, and there are a WIDE variety of recognised ‘learners’ that exist. You may respond more to audio than visual, or vice-versa, so establishing the type of learner you are will really help you understand how to take effective notes that work for you. I’m a visual learner, so I make sure to keep my notes colourful with little diagrams where helpful, because I know the visual page will have a big impact on how I digest the information!
To find out what type of learner you are, take a quiz here !