Taking notes is not just writing down what you heard or read for later consumption.

It’s how ideas plant themselves in your head and become part of your memory banks. The proper usage of notes allows ideas to plan themselves in your head and become concrete parts of your memory banks.

Notes are where your learning should always begin, and I don’t mean reading other people’s notes. When you consume information with the intent to learn, creating your own set of notes to review later is the first step that allows you to synthesize information in any meaningful sort of way 먹튀검증.

There are a few different methods that you’ve probably tried over the years, including outlines, mind maps, and simply writing down every seemingly big point that you hear or read. Some of these might work for you, but there are almost certainly better ways to organize and intake information. Feel free to take notes on taking notes.

There are four main stages of effective and great notes. They are:

  • Note taking
  • Note editing
  • Note analysis
  • Note reflection

Many of us may never make it to the fourth stage, and many of us may not even make it past the second. But that goes to show how much more we could all get from our notes.

The first stage of note taking is where you are just trying to capture all of the big concepts and details. You take them down however you can, and paraphrase arguments and details to support each big concept. Leave space after each section so you can add in additional detail later, and use bullet points and lists wherever possible. Make sure to note areas where clarification and later research is required.

It’s best to take this initial set of notes by hand. You have to spend more time on each word you write, and you also have to be more selective with what you write, because you can’t possibly write everything. It forces you to edit the information you are recording at the outset. Then, for the next stages, you can transfer your handwritten notes to any other medium ? but the initial stage is always best by hand.

In the same vein, don’t rely on transcriptions of full-out recordings of the information that you need. Always insist on taking your own notes so you can immediately summarize and analyze the important information.

The next stage is note editing, and this is the stage where you go back over your initial set of notes and thoroughly edit what you’ve written, go over everything and write it all out again. This helps comprehension and to find blind spots of knowledge.

Conduct additional research wherever necessary, and collect and organize your notes to fit together with everything else you have on the topic. Review more complex concepts and summarize them, highlight areas that need special emphasis, and make sure that you know where to find any information for easy reference.

The second stage is where you make your notes easy to understand and read for someone to pick up out of the blue without any prior knowledge on the topic. Remember, you are not designing your notes for the expert that is deep in the midst of studying. You are designing them to battle your fading memory, so you need to leave contextual clues and information to help yourself. It’s also a good idea to leave references to page numbers, books, and articles in your notes where you can easily research for original source information.

The third stage is one that you may not have reached lately. The third stage is note analysis, and it’s when you actively summarize each section and try to boil everything down to as short a snippet as possible. This is where you use memory techniques such as acrostics and mnemonics.

It’s also where you attempt to connect each concept to the other, either as a consequence or by noting how they are related. The general idea of this stage is to gain a deeper understanding of your notes beyond a shallow recitation of facts. To do that, you can ask yourself how concepts fit together and why they were even mentioned in the same section. Ask how they help further your understanding and overarching goal for learning in the first place.

The final stage is note reflection. This usually involves discussion of your notes with other people to make sure that everything you understand is correct, and to create a further level of understanding by open discussion and group analysis. After all, two heads are better than one, and two perspectives are better than one. This can be a peer, or even a teacher or professor.

Focus not on the facts but on the analysis, summaries, and conceptual understanding that you reached in the third stage. They are what matter in the grand scheme of the topic, and they are what will allow you to make judgment calls in unfamiliar situations.

It’s helpful to know facts about Spanish history, but it’s far more helpful to understand the role of religion and imperialism, because that will allow you to understand the ecosystem of the day, and why the events occurred in that way. Seek feedback and ?this is important? actively try to find gaps of knowledge or where you might be wrong. Attempt to poke holes in your notes and knowledge, which will allow you to reinforce what you’re correct about.

The general trend is to not take notes passively, and understand that your task has only begun after you’ve taken them from your initial consumption of information. Each time you review, you also have to make an effort to make it as participatory as possible so you don’t end up just skimming your beautiful notes passively and lazily.

When you review, give yourself a specific task as opposed to just “reviewing your notes.” A specific task would be something like organizing specific concepts, looking for connections between other concepts, ordering the importance of the supporting arguments to bigger concepts, or making a map of the concepts and seeing how they connect visually.

The most famous method of note taking is called the Cornell method, and it actually encompasses much of the aforementioned four stages of great notes. Here’s how it works.

On your handwritten sheet for note taking, split it down the middle and into two columns. Label the right column “Notes” and label the left column “Cues.” Leave a couple of inches empty at the bottom of the page and label that section “Summary.”

You now have three distinct sections, but you will only be taking notes in the Notes section. This is where you take normal notes on the bigger concepts with supporting detail as concisely as possible. Make sure to skip some space between points so you can fill in more detail and clarification at a later point. Draw charts and diagrams and make lists where appropriate, and give your best effort to capturing what matters. You don’t need to think about organization or highlighting while you are taking the initial notes. Just write what you hear or read, and give as complete a picture as possible.

After you’re done taking notes, move on to the left Cues side. This is where for each section or concept, you filter and analyze the Notes side and write the important parts on the Cues side. Where the Notes side is more of a jumbled mess, the Cues side is a relatively organized account of the topic at hand ? basically the same information is on each side. Write the main supporting facts and anything that matters, but in a more organized way. There is the added benefit of having to go through your notes immediately and synthesizing everything and drawing out what’s important and what’s not.

Finally, after you’re done with the Notes and Cues sides, move to the Summary section at the bottom. This is where you attempt to summarize everything you’ve just taken notes on into a few top-level ideas and statements, with only the important supporting facts or exceptions to the rules. You want to say as much in as few words as possible, the reason being that when you review your notes, you want to be able to understand quickly and not have to deconstruct and analyze all over again. You want to be able to skim the Summary and Cues section and move on.

There are similarities between the Cornell Method and the four stages of note taking, but in each case, you have created your own study guide. Better yet, you also have the entire process you used to create it documented on the same page, from original notes to synthesis and summarization. You have a record of information that allows you to go as deep as you want, or refer to whatever you want.

Overall, taking notes is not a lazy, passive activity. That’s the real secret of great notes. They are intended to serve as something you can refer to, instantly understand, and be helpful, as opposed to having to decipher them. This takes work and usually won’t occur on the first pass through.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *