Tips and Tricks for Taking Notes

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Written by Gabby Unangst

Notes can be quite daunting and confusing. Many times I find myself sorting through notes merely days after writing them and not being able to use or understand them. Taking notes can be stressful as well; it’s hard to figure out what to write and what not to. Though note-taking can be difficult, there are easy ways to organize your notes to make them usable and understandable. Here are the top ways to clean-up and organize your notes!

1. Google Slides

A fun way to write your notes is by creating Google Slideshows. You can categorize them by different topics or collective big ideas of units in each subject. These slides can be detailed with vital facts about each topic. Then when test time or DBAs come and you are allowed to use notes you will be able to click on the slideshow you want and get detailed facts. You can also use images and visuals, which is a feature that you can’t do on notes.

2. Binder

A great way to organize notes is by using binders. You can add tabs to make layers within the binder. You can take loose-leaf paper and add the written notes into the binders. You can also add pictures and illustrations to the binder. Binders are also more durable and a great option for the whole subject. For example, you can have a Biology A binder separated with tabs and categories like Biodiversity and Genetic Mutations, making it easy to locate where the topic you’re looking for is. 

3. Index Cards

Index cards are best for definitions and quick facts. It can also be good for descriptions and picture identification. It can help with language courses, such as Spanish. There are also some very useful index cardholders that will help keep stationary stations compact and clean. It also can be good for compare and contrast techniques, like in math and science. Comparing the differences between animal and plant cells is an example of how index cards can help quiz you on vital information.

4. Color-coding

This may seem like a known technique, but color-coding is so beneficial. You can use highlighters to pick out important pieces of notes so that your eyes are naturally drawn to the most important facts. Another way to color code is by using colored pens to make boxes and circle important facts. You can also draw illustrations to add emphasis to certain points as well. Different colors for definitions, formulas, quotes, or other important things help you to find what you need. 
One thing to remember is these note-taking strategies can be combined to modify to what suits you best. You can always use more than one note-taking technique. These techniques are meant to be as helpful as possible and not be stressful. Note-taking will surely soon come easier after applying some of these techniques to your notes and making them easier in general.