A Guide to Note Taking

Everyone has their own way of taking notes. Whether it be typing everything out, or using the classic pen and paper- note taking has evolved with technology. So, if you step into almost any lecture hall, you will see laptops open and fingers typing away. For us old fashioned college students who still use pen and paper, here are 4 things your handwriting says about you, along with ways to improve your note taking skills! 


Illegible handwriting: 

We all know exactly what this looks like; and if you don’t have it, one of your friends most likely does. These are the people who usually receive comments like, “Your handwriting looks like a boy”, and they usually envy those with the beautiful and perfectly neat script. However, it is said that those with ugly handwriting are usually the brightest. They have so much information and thoughts they want to write down but they don't have the time to write everything perfectly! So, if you have ugly handwriting do not fret, Beethoven and Freud had ugly handwriting too! 


Color coordination and lots of highlighting: 

From the outside looking in, you seem “put together”- but let’s be honest, who in college really has their life together? To be frank, those of us with this type of handwriting only do it because it’s aesthetically pleasing. Plus, it makes studying a little brighter and a little easier. Many envy this type of note taking and wish to be able to do it too! 


Organized with roman numerals and bullet points: 

Your notes pretty much copy the professor’s power points to a T. You try and copy all the notes from the board, along with what the professor is saying. This note taking style isn’t really you, it might show that you do not necessarily know how to take your own note so copying how the professor does it seems best to you! Try experimenting with note taking and see which works best for you! 


Doodles…. EVERYWHERE: 

Let’s be honest, we all doodle from time to time. But  for those who do it all of the time, well your mind just may be somewhere else. Now this can mean you have a lot going on and paying attention to the lecture you are sitting in is the last thing on your mind, or you just don’t feel like focusing. But whatever the case, creativity seems to be one of your strengths! My advice is to embrace it, but maybe try and pay attention… at least just a little. 


Lastly, for you technology note takers, don't stress because I have some tips for you too! When it comes to reading the text book or typing up notes in lecture hall- outlining is a great method! For outlining, you would want to make the tittle more prominent on the paper and then bullet a few things under it. Remember, when outlining you are summarizing the material, not copying things word for word. Another helpful tip is to use sticky notes when reading from a textbook. After each paragraph write the material in summary on a sticky note and when you are done with the chapter arrange them in a way that makes sense to you; and then copy it into a note book! 


Remember that not everyone’s note taking style is perfect, but hopefully these tips help! Happy note taking!