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Everyone wants to finish out this fall semester on a good note, and one of the best ways to do that is to get into the habit of color-coding your notes. There are just so many benefits to color-coding, and these benefits make it a practice and habit worthy of your time, even as the fall semester comes to a close. Plus, if you get into the habit now, you’ll be ready to continue color-coding in the spring semester too! 


The Benefits 

What exactly are the benefits of color-coding? Well, there’s a ton, but one of the major ones is that it helps you stay organized as a student. This method of organization is very effective and efficient, allowing you to flip through notes quickly and find exactly the information you need and are looking for. Another huge benefit comes from using bright colors when you color-code in order to capture your attention. In addition to this, the colors will, over time, become more significant to your brain, creating a mental shorthand. Essentially, what this means is that your brain will give context to the material that you mark with a certain color, which also allows you to process that information more efficiently and more meaningfully. 


When to Color-Code

Now that the major benefits of color-coding have been established, you may be wondering how you actually can start implementing the process of color-coding into your note-taking routine. Try color-coding your notes after the notes have been taken. This gives you an opportunity to review your notes and to organize them however you’d like. 


Consistency Across Subjects 

One big mistake that people make when trying to color-code for the first time is by using different color keys for every class. However, this just ends up becoming way too confusing, especially if you try to use the same color for different sections in different class subjects. To avoid this conclusion, come up with a standard color key for all of your classes, and stick to it! For example, make red the color you use for main ideas, and blue the color used for specific facts. 


Limited Colors 

Another mistake first-time color-coders make is using too many colors in their key. Experts recommend no more than three to four colors be used because anything more than that is just too much remembering for the brain to handle. If you assign every little fact in your notes its own color, nothing stands out and it can actually serve as a huge distraction. 


Hopefully, this guide to the benefits of and tips on color-coding will help you ace the rest of the fall semester, and will become a beneficial habit you can utilize in the future semesters as well. 

Attends Lasell University and is currently a senior (class of 2023). An elementary education major with a minor in child and adolescent studies. A proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, I love the color yellow, crocs, and all kinds of tea!
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