Sunday, 9 October 2016

Make Superb Notes - Use this Cool Note-Taking Method

Awesome strategy to get the best of notes. Superb note-taking methods

Almost everybody is involved in the business of note-taking – businessmen, students, lecturers, name them. A very significant way to listening to a lecture is by note taking. If you take time and search the net, you will notice that there are many methods to be used, but these methods are mainly suitable for some specific set of people. There is a method for taking note in classrooms, company meetings, church preachings, name them.

I don’t want to go through the same thing over and over. Hence, I saw the similarities in many of them and I come to the conclusion that it will be necessary to get a method that can be applicable to any sort of note you might want to make. But most of the references I may be making here will be on classroom note-taking.

It is scientifically proven that students who take and review their notes excel very well in exams more than those who simply occupy the classroom pews. The method I shall list here shall help you make great notes that will not pose boredom to you when you refer back to them. The traditional system of education has made it in such a way that students have to struggle to pen down every word that the lecturer utters, thereby distracting themselves and yet not making a note that can yield any effect. It has been observed by some educationists that such method can drastically reduce the attention span of any student. But, we need to take note of lectures, we need to be somehow serious in the class, note-taking makes some people look serious in class and can actually put them in focus. It gives the lecturer a sense that someone is listening.  

To remedy some difficulties associated to note-taking, I have come up with this method that will really help you.

Get familiar with these note-taking method…

Don’t be a scribble mania
Some students find almost everything the lecturer is saying very interesting and important. Hence, they end up struggling to write down everything the lecturer says verbatim. Such practice will only make your note look boring. You will lose control and surprisingly, you will hear everything the lecturer says but at the end you’ll realise that you have not really listened.

Trying to write down everything will only leave you with an incomplete and junky note. 

What you need to do is to fasten your attention mainly on the keywords the lecturer uses. Try to see how he applies some expressions especially as regard the keywords. Some good lecturers are good at using clue phrases, it is your duty, as a brilliant student, to look out for those phrases and keywords. Let me give you an instance; the lecturer may use clue phrases like, ‘note that…’ ‘keep these in mind…’ ‘in the exam you may be asked to… etc.’ All these clue phrases will lead you to the points the lecturer is trying to communicate to you. And those are the things that should come into your lecture note. Make no mistake about this - I am not saying you shouldn’t write. My main concern is that you should note down important nuggets of information, that is, those things that actually matter.

Create a note prior to class
Most lecturers give out a course outline or a syllabus at the beginning of the semester. These outlines are not meant to be buried in your bags. The way you use them will determine how brilliant you are. 

 From the syllabus, you will be able to know the topic of the next class. Now, having known the topic, go to the library or online and research on that topic. From your research, make some ‘tiny’ notes on the topic. You may also want to put down some questions based on what you’ve studied. Also, make reference to the last session note as this will keep you on track for the next class.

After the end of the class, don’t just throw your note aside, review them after class. Try to compare the note you made prior to the class and the one you made in the class and see how they relate. Check for new things and merge them intelligently. After each week, try and make a summary of the week note.
Organise Your Note
Organization brings beauty to things and that is so with writing, you will not feel enthused to go back to a note you’re pretty sure you never took care to organise. When your note is well organised, you will not have difficulty remembering information faster.

To make your note organised, try and write short, short notes. But make sure that such notes are packed with suitable triggers to kick-start your memory. I will advise that you use your own words unless when you want to write down a quote or a phrase you can relate so well with.
Employ the use of symbols and abbreviation
One thing you should know is that your note is your personal property. No one will penalise you for using symbols or emoticon (in the case of typing). It will be nice for you to create your own meaning with some symbols. Symbols can be beneficial since they have the tendency to give you quick information about a given concept.

Let me give an example; you may use ‘#’ sign to represent ‘number’, or ‘=’ sign in place of ‘identical’. It all depends on how you are familiar with the symbols
Insert question marks where you miss a point
There may come a time when you encounter a fast lecturer who hardly repeats what he says. Sometimes you miss a particular point to note down. Don’t bother to look at your classmate's note or ask question, as this will surely distract you and those you’re asking.

The appropriate thing I will recommend you to do at this point is to insert a question mark into the missing part, then later you will get back to it or during question time, you can ask your lecturer.
 Let us know if you find this useful. You can also tell us about other note-taking methods you're familiar with. Please show some care by sharing this post.