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Have you ever wasted way too much of your study time flipping through your notes looking for a certain piece of information? Or have you simply gotten tired of your monochromatic notebook pages and are looking for something to spice up your note-taking? Here’s an easy way I upped my note-taking game, and how you can too.

Invest in colored highlighters

Colored highlighters make all the difference when it comes to writing notes. I am in love with my pastel set, and they truly make a difference in my note-taking. At the beginning of each course, I create a key to define each color. (For example, purple means lecture notes, blue means book notes, green means practice problems, and yellow means study group notes.) Setting a certain color to a specific topic not only helps in locating material but also in recalling different facts! It has been scientifically proven that color is a powerful incentive for the brain, enabling us to both understand and remember material more easily. That’s why children’s instruction is so full of bright colors and rainbows; color enhances learning. 

Invest in multiple pens

Whether you are super fancy and enjoy calligraphy pens or make lots of mistakes and desperately need erasable pens, having multiple types is a must. Just like with the highlighters, I set certain pens (by type, color, or function) for certain pieces of information in my notes. You can use your sleek colored pens to create decorative headers or your favorite ball-point pen to bracket important sentences. Whatever system you use, swapping between pens allows you time to have a mental check and make sure you’re focusing on the right information.

Invest in binder dividers

I only started utilizing this tip recently, but it has absolutely changed how I organize my notes. I no longer need to rely on hundreds of sticky notes to tell me where topics start and end, the binder dividers do the job for me. These can coordinate with your color-coding system within your notes or can simply provide an organized structure. The best part? You can reuse them after you finish a course!

While it may seem unnecessary to put so much effort into utilizing more colors in your notes, I promise you that it will pay off. Not only will you be more organized, but you can also look forward to note-taking with all your colorful accessories.

Keli is a biomedical engineering major and can be classified under many categories: second child of five, optimist, bibliophile, Christian, and rom-com enthusiast.
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