24 Aug

The best way to take notes

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Have you ever been confused about what to write and what not to write during a lecture? This is a general confusion which we all go through during one or other phase of our life. But consider how useful it would be if you knew how to take notes. It will be easier for you to take notes anywhere, at any time, whether in a classroom or online. Here’s a handout that would help you to write down the main points effectively.

Is it important to take good notes?

If you are confused and still thinking whether it is important to know how to take notes, the answer would be, ‘Yes.’ Note taking is very important as it helps with our academic success. Students in high schools and colleges find it difficult to take notes because their course content is so heavy and, most of the time, they miss the main points.

Effective notes can help us prepare ourselves for the upcoming tests or exams without much hindrance. It is very easy to reflect when you just move your eyes through the points you wrote as notes. Sometimes it is also not needed to go back to the lesson and go through it if your note-taking skills are good.

How to take notes

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A lot of concepts are discussed during an ongoing class. Sometimes we do miss the main concepts, but if your hand is busy taking notes, it will be easier for you to come back to the concept while going through the notes. So, let’s understand how we can take effective notes.

 Check the content beforehand

Reading the lesson beforehand gives us an idea of the main concept being explained in it. During the lecture, it becomes easy for one to understand what is going on and what needs to be noted down. Preparing beforehand helps us a lot, not only to understand the concept of the lesson but also to remember it easily.

 Taking notes during the class

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Try improving your note-taking skills with the below points.

  • It is not feasible for us to write the whole lecture word for word in an ongoing class.
  • Try to take down the main idea. It could be some important words or small sentences.
  • Use mind maps to create an organised and sequenced set of notes according to your own understanding. It is said that mind maps can help us understand the whole lesson in a small span of time.
  • Jot down the important dates, names, or events to remember them without any difficulty.
  • Give headers to your notes so that it is easy for you to understand when you reflect on them.
  • Use highlighters to help yourself come back to the very important points.

 Different note-taking styles

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There is no specific format for taking notes. It totally depends on the student how they take notes according to their understanding, but here are some formats which if used can make your note-taking work a little easier.

  •  Mind Map/Concept Map/Flow Chart: These kinds of notes are given some structures according to the sequence of the concepts.
  • Sentence method: One of the easiest and most commonly used methods of note taking is the sentence method. All of the important points are written with minor details.
  • Charting method: This is the method where columns are drawn according to the different headings being covered, followed by important dates and names written in them.


Although we have different note-taking styles, it totally depends on the students how they take notes according to their understanding. Students who don’t know how to take notes can adopt any one of these to take notes. Note-taking is not only important for academic success; it is important throughout our lives.

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