College requires more independence on taking your own notes than high school. It can get hard to summarize 72 pages of a chapter just by reading it. You have to know what is important and worth writing down and how to word that for the best study tool later.
Highlighters are Life
Everyone should have bought highlighters at the beginning of the school year. Unlike underlining, it’s easy to glance at notes and point out the need to know information. This is a big tip for printed articles and when referencing to the readings in discussions and essays.
Section off Topics
Instead of having every topic all together, split them up in the order given in the book or text along with titles. It makes it easier on the eyes when looking back at your notes for studying. Also, have page numbers as a source for further clarification if needed in the future.
Table of Contents
A bit more organizational, but it can save you a lot of time when looking for specific notes. Looking up homework question help or mid-term topics can be easily found without shuffling through pages with this method.
Remember: Number your pages ahead of time
Know When to Flip It
A key to writing notes is keeping it clean and neat. Some people prefer to just use the front side of a notebook sheet of paper to start on a fresh layout. However, that can require more notebooks than necessary. I use this as a rule: if writing dents are made on one side, flip it. But that rarely happens, so for most cases, use both sides. No need to carry two notebooks.
Digital vs. Hard Copy
This is a very preference based tip. Some people like the easy no hassle editing of typing on a laptop. Spell check and looking up terms on the Internet quickly are also pluses. Others favor the classic, easier to carry pen and paper route to absorb the information more by handwriting it and the ability to have your own layout without having an error pop-up.
Helpful Tip: If you go digital, organize notes in separate folders for each course.