Ridiculous Reminders in Note Taking

  1. Attend lectures regularly.

  2. Use a notebook of standard (8 1/2 x 11) size paper, preferably loose-leaf for continued organization and review shuffling.

  3. Keep all notes for one class in one section, separated from those for other classes.

  4. Write on only one side of the page for easier organization at any time.

  5. Carry extra pens and pencils.

  6. Write the date, course name, and page number on every sheet.

  7. Don’t doodle; it distracts. Keep eye contact when not writing.

  8. Make notes compete, clear, and legible so that they can be used meaningfully weeks or months later.

  9. Leave blanks where information is missed or misunderstood. Fill gaps right after your lecture or as soon as possible with the aid of the instructor or classmates.

  10. Develop your own system of enumerating and indenting.

  11. Develop your own abbreviations.

  12. Use symbols for emphasis.

  13. Mark or separate assignments which are mixed into the lecture proper.

  14. Separate your thoughts from those of the lecturer.

  15. Be alert for cues such as pauses, listings, etc.

  16. Record examples where helpful.

  17. Listen, especially at the end of the lecture. If instructors have not paced lectures well, they may cram half of the content into the last 5-10 minutes.

  18. Record additional ideas of your own after the lecture.

  19. Review notes after class—get into the 5-MINUTE TECHNIQUE. Take that much time as soon as possible to change, organize, add, delete, summarize, or clarify misunderstandings.

  20. Recopying is a debatable advantage, but the 5-MINUTE TECHNIQUE is not.

  21. Have group sessions once or twice a week to learn of omissions, mistakes, and other people’s opinions about interpretations.