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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Hi everyone!

Growing up, I was constantly asked by my classmates about my creative note-taking techniques. I always purchased cute stationery supplies, and I watched several Youtube videos for note-taking advice. So today, I’m going to be sharing with you the most common note-taking methods that people use for studying purposes, and tips and tricks to make your notes visually appealing.

Why is note taking popular?

With all of the technological advancements, people can watch and listen to lectures at any time. It’s hard to focus sometimes when people are talking at us instead of with us. Trust me, I’m taking three-hour courses for the rest of my college career. When we effectively take notes, it helps us remember the information presented to us. Furthermore, if you’re a visual learner like me, you want to make sure your note-taking skills are on point. I like to use colorful pens and pictures!

The Cornell Method

This is commonly used by college students because most courses are full of long lectures and detailed readings. The format is pretty simple; there are three columns on the page with five traditional steps: (1) record lecture notes, (2) review your notes, (3) summarize your findings, (4) test yourself, and (5) review the information. The Cornell method allows students to summarize the lesson in their own words. Sometimes our professors use words and phrases that are complicated for us to remember, so you have the power to choose the vocabulary you want to use.

The Mind-Mapping MEthod

This method allows you to take notes in a creative way. You get to use different colors and draw pictures to bring your notes to life. The format is pretty simple. You put the main topic in the center of the page and draw a circle around the topic. Next, you branch out from that idea by drawing arrows and going into detail about the subject. It’s sort of like the main idea and supporting details strategy.

The outline Method

We use outlines to help us map out our ideas for our essays. It starts with the main topic in the middle and then has indentations for sub-ideas. If you are in class, this might not be the best method for now taking a thee time because you have to pay more attention to detail. You also have to be very organized. I recommend this technique for textbooks or watching recordings.

Tips for Better Note Taking!

  • Pictures and diagrams help you remember content!
  • Write concise points
  • Use abbreviations and symbols
  • Write down the main points
  • Repeat
Nikiya Alfred is the current events director for the UIC HER CAMPUS chapter. She's a third-year college student from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a passion for problem-solving issues in the CPS system. As an Urban Education major with a concentration in English Language Arts, she wants to explore more on Educational policy. This is the perfect opportunity for her to build relationships with other women who have a passion for writing. Please follow her on Instagram @Moondoll_7.
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