Post your notes/notebooks and share your favorite tips!
So at this point in my life, I’ve been taught a dozen and a half “notetaking methods.” I’ve found that by far, the “Cornell notes” approach seems to work for me, but I’ve always felt my technique could use refinement.
Last semester, I invented a shorthand that included the twenty some-odd most frequently used words in my notes. I wrote out this legend to ensure I used and internalized it.
I also made sure that it took significantly less time to draw the ideogram than to write out the word, with one exception. This semester, I’m adding more. I figured I’d just add more and more symbols gradually to avoid getting overwhelmed.
My big thing of late has been finding notebooks that fit in on the damn teeny weeny desks used at universities.
(Cropped. Click for full image.)
I’ve gone through numerous brands, binding types, and even colors. The only thing I know for sure is I don’t like pads of paper where you can’t write on both sides without tearing pages out, and I prefer graph ruled pages to the point where I almost demand them.
My biggest note-taking problem is with math. I find I rush to replicate on board scribbling. I’ve tried following closely and not taking notes, but that ends with me not being able to review later. I kind of wish I could video record lectures, but profs have gotten twitchy when I’ve asked in the past. So if anyone has tips there, I’d appreciate it.
Beyond that, I prefer to inject whimsy into both my class and personal notes. It makes thinks easier to remember and it incentivizes me to read over the notes again later. Below is cover page from long term project to build a spring wound clock. For personal notes, I really like Roaring Springs comp books. I used to use pencil, but as you can see, it kind of gets smeary and I swear it gets fainter with time.
For project notebooks, I’ve learned to use ELBOW: No erasures, leaves torn out, blank spaces, overwriting, or writing between lines. I’ve learned to prefer to preserve my mistakes, so I’ve switched to pen.
So feel free to share your notebooks, and I certainly won’t judge you for blurring/cropping embarrassing details from your pictures. Lord knows I have enough of my own.