Taking notes has one simple purpose: helping you remember important information. When was the last time you managed to read through a mess of information and actually remember what you studied? TL:DR is a thing for good reason. As a college student, having the right note-taking technique is pretty (insanely) important.
There are thousands of note-taking methods out there for students, but remember that the key is to find a method that fits YOU. To help you find the right technique, we’ve picked out three note-taking methods we think are super effective. Dive in and try them out.
#1 The KISS Method
The book you’re reading is hard enough as is it. Don’t make it harder for yourself. We need things that are simple, meaning easy to learn and, more importantly, to use. The KISS method, short for Keep It Simple, Stupid) is pretty self-explanatory. By keeping your notes short and to the point, they’ll be easier to review. Stick to keywords and short sentences, ideally in bullet format´.
Aim at making these bullets or phrases as short as you can and as simply defined while still making sure you’ll understand the gist when rereading them. This will help you capture the most important points. Of course, you might find yourself needing to define or explain some terms, but try to focus on writing as little as possible to save time when reviewing.
#2 The “Question, Answer, Evidence” Method
If you are studying heavy and dense material, you can try using the the “Question, Answer, Evidence” method to improve your comprehension Try to change your material to a question about the subject, then answer the question with your own words and back it up with evidence from the actual text, that you are taking notes from.
For example, if you made a question called “What caused the financial crisis of 2008? Then your answer could be “Deregulation in the financial industry, as we see in this paragraph (…)”.
#3 The Rainbow Method
When you’re reading a sea of black and white text, your brain is about as excited as toast. Use specific colors for separate themes or elements to help you create your own color-coding system. A system could be using one color (let’s say, green) for keywords, one for definitions (such as blue) and another color (like pink) for examples.
Take advantage of highlights in your Lix app to do quick searches and keep a constant overview of all your notes—it definitely helps to have them all in one place! It’s really difficult to understand and remember information based on messy notes, so add a splash of color to your texts and cut your brain some slack.
Now you’re ready to take some amazing notes! Throw yourself at it and find the method that fits your needs. What’s your go-to note-taking technique? Share it in the comments!