Note taking is a vital part in the academic learning and is also beneficial in learning new skills like coding, writing, marketing, etc. Note taking is being emphasized upon, not only because the notes itself have some value but because of the purpose they serve. Notes are important because when a learner makes notes while learning anything new either in a lecture or during reading, her mind is put into work by engaging her in cognitive functions like writing and thinking. When the learner types or writes the learned knowledge, her mind has to work to filter the information, highlight the ones that are important than others, neglect the ones that are useless or complimentary, form questions and opinions for further learning and understanding of the subject. These all cognitive functions happening at the back of her mind, make the knowledge leave a mark on her memory. Subsequent retrieval of the information stores the information in the long-term memory. Well organized notes help in revising the topic easier and fun.
It is thus very important to know how to make the notes and figure out your personal best way of note making.
Here are some popular and adapted ways of note making. Figure out which works the best for you and experiment with mixing it up if no one method is enough.
Linear Note taking
This is the must brute method which involves forming sentences as you go on learning any new useful information and neglecting the ones that aren’t useful.
This is the method that you see in almost all the books in the academics. It involves dividing the data or information into headings and subheadings. The headings come first and then under it its subheadings and their details and the next heading and so on.
It is efficient in a way that it divides the data into sections and your brain prefers chunks of data over piles of data.
Non-linear note taking
The Cornell method
In this method, you need to put the heading at the top of the page, leave 5-6 lines at the bottom of the page. and then divide the page into two parts keeping the left section half as wide as the right section. This wider right section is for your notes that you take in the lecture or while watching a video or while reading a book. The narrower left section is for you to write the keywords and cues from the notes. Cues or keywords are the words which can form the whole story once you see them while revising. You can use this section to write the questions which arise during the lectures too. The bottom section is for the summary. This is where you note down main points that you take away from the lecture.
The Charting method
This method suggests making a chart out of your notes, in which you try to divide the information into two parts. This is a useful method if the information can be categorized. For example, comparison of political views, stating the pros and cons of technology and so on.
The Mapping method
This is a method useful for visual learners, it is like making a mind map of your notes which can take you from one point to another. Take the main heading or objective of the learning and write it at the center of the page. Now, write the related ideas and information branching from the center. Write the sub-topics or sub-ideas branching from their respective headings and so on. This will thus form a tree where many topics and details emerge from the central idea or heading. While retrieving your learned topic, you can vividly remember your tree and its branches.
The SQ3R method
This is a useful method if you are learning from a book. The SQ3R stands for survey, query, read, recite and review. Survey means skim reading to find out the headings from the page and then forming questions out of them. Now, read the page in order to find out answers of the formed questions (keeping the motivation of finding answers). After you have formed an understanding of the topic and found your answers, write them down in your notebook (recite). Once you have finished writing your notes, review them.
This method is helpful in learning along with understanding the topic. For this, you need to have the review questions while you learn. These review questions can be answered as you go along the lecture, or reading or watching the video. This can be considered one of the most beneficial learning method, but it has its limitations as the review questions are not always available in hand.
Note taking – Wikipedia
Cornell notes – Wikipedia