You Should Know

/ 4 years ago /

 Article by Brenda Wong

These note-taking techniques will boost your memory

Try as we may to eschew hand-written note-taking for good, there’s no doubt about it. Apple and Microsoft can throw as many tablets as they want at us. But there’s nothing more effective than physical note-taking.

However, it’s difficult to figure out which note-taking techniques are the best ones for you. Luckily, Career Geek and Westminster Bridge Student Accommodation (WBSA) have come up with three wicked (and scientific) methods.

The fact is, 60% of the information you get from lectures will be forgotten within 9 hours if you don’t organise and reflect on them. Therefore, it is our duty to make sure you’ve got the right tools for all of that info-downloading.

Pen and paper at the ready, folks. Let’s write some notes.

The outline method

note-taking techniques

👍 With this technique, main points can be turned into questions when you review your notes later.

👎 However, this technique doesn’t highlight the relationships or connectedness between arguments. It may not be the best one for artsy subjects like philosophy or literature.

The Cornell method

note-taking techniques

👍 This seems complicated, but apparently printable Cornell notepaper is available online. Fancy.

👎 If you’re a little on the lazy side, the summary section is an extra bit of work that may annoy you with time. However, takeaways can be super effective – so maybe the effort will be worth it.

The mapping method


👍 This is great for quickly mocking up relationships and connections between topics. Also, this can be cleaned up later with loads of cool colours, or even online. 

👎 TBH, this method gets messy, and fast. It probably won’t be suitable for lectures where you can’t expect or predict the topic. This one is perhaps good for reflective notes, rather than in-the-moment notes.

Whichever method you choose, always make sure you set aside the time after your lectures to sort your notes out. Your exam term self will thank you later.

Feature Image © Unsplash

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