It’s that time of an already strange couple of years where everyone suddenly, EVERYONE wants to make the most out of 2021 even though between 31.12.2020 and 01.01.2021, the only thing that has really changed… is the date. That said, with a whole lot of academic exercises and new academic adventures coming our way, all of us decided to sit down and put together a few note-taking hacks and tips that literally ANY one can use and flourish with. Don’t believe us? Read on for 3 great ways to improve your productivity AND note taking skills – regardless of whether you are 13 or 93 – with just as little as paper and a writing instrument.
1. A little planning goes a long way:
If you thought this tip is about actually planning how to take notes and you know it’s something you’ve tried and failed in the past (we admit – we have, too!!)… you’re in for a surprise.
Regardless of what kind of paper or book you’re dealing with when it comes to the notes you’re taking, our tip is: LEAVE SOME SPACE AT THE BEGINNING. Whether it’s a few pages of your notebook or the first few lines of the sheet you’re writing on, this space becomes where you can go back and make a super quick but oh-so-useful index of what’s on this page / in this notebook or just generally, the overall summary of whatever is important.
If you have more than one writing instrument, go to town and make this section noticeable when you fill it up AFTER your actual note-taking, to make the important points stand out!
2. Here’s the point:
When writing, especially in class or in a situation when you have a lot of information being incessantly thrown at you while you have to hurry yourself to keep pace with someone or something else, it’s super easy to make your notes look like one big paragraph or one endless song.
Instead, we recommend: MAKING POINTS. If you can’t or it’s likely to take you some time to get used to switching from writing in a paragraph to making bullet or pointed lists, improvise. UNDERLINE the key word or CIRCLE them without it getting too messy – so that on a future date or at a later time when you revisit these notes, you don’t have to spend a lot of time and effort trying to find what you are looking for.
Again, if you want to invest in an additional writing instrument, we suggest our trusty old highlighters because nothing makes a page pop like an occasional dose of neon.
3. It’s all about the font-line (Get it? Hehehe)
We cannot emphasize this enough, but SO many of us forget that IT IS POSSIBLE TO WRITE IN UPPER CASE AKA CAPITAL LETTERS. If you didn’t notice it throughout this piece already, you definitely noticed it now!
No matter what you think of your handwriting and whether you write in clean, unattached font or are capable of writing in beautiful calligraphy (in which case, we don’t have any tips for you) one thing you CAN do, is realize that the entire alphabet sequence is at your disposal when it comes to HOW you write what you have to. We suggest using an all capital font or writing style to draw the attention of your eyes and that of anyone’s who chances upon your notes, to the things that matter the most. Again, this is a super simple thing to do and yet, too many of us fail to remember it when needed.
We hope this was a quick little “Note-Taking 101” lesson for all of you and we really hope that if there is one FABULOUS outcome of 2021, it is that these hacks help you take your note-taking game to a whole new level.
Are there any note-taking tips you use that we haven’t mentioned in here? Tell us and we’d be happy to feature you in our Note-Taking Hacks Part 2 Blog!