I’d like to talk about note-taking. I know it may not sound like the most exciting topic, but it’s a crucial skill to have, whether you’re a student or a professional. It is never too late to learn!
There are various note-taking methods available, each with its own unique benefits. I am going to mention the top four methods. Let us dive in!
The Cornell method
Firstly, we have the Cornell method. This approach is fantastic for organising your notes and ensuring you capture all the crucial information. You begin by dividing your paper into three sections: a narrow column on the left, a wide column on the right, and a space at the bottom. In the narrow column, you write keywords or questions summarising the content of each section. In the wide column, you write down the primary points and supporting details. And at the bottom, you summarise the entire page of notes. This method is excellent for reviewing and studying later.
Example of the Cornell method:
Mind Mapping method
Next, we have the Mind Mapping method . This method is perfect for visual learners or those who prefer to see things in a more creative way. You begin by writing the main idea or topic in the centre of the page, then branch out with subtopics, supporting details, and examples. You can use colours, images, and symbols to make the map more visually appealing and memorable. This method is excellent for brainstorming, organising your thoughts, and making connections between ideas.
Example of the Mind Mapping method:
The Outline method
Another method is the Outline method. This method is simple and easy to follow. You start by writing the main topic or idea at the top of the page, and then you create a list of subtopics and supporting details underneath. You can use headings, bullet points, and indentation to make the outline more readable. This method is great for taking notes during lectures or presentations.
Example of the Outlining method:
Lastly, we have the Charting method. This method is perfect for comparing different ideas, concepts, or data. You begin by creating a table with columns and rows. In the columns, you write down the categories or topics you want to compare, and in the rows, you write down the subtopics or details. You can use symbols, colours, and shading to highlight the similarities and differences between each category. This method is ideal for taking notes on research, statistics, or any information that requires analysis and comparison.
Example of the Charting method:
So, which method should you use? It really depends on the situation and your personal preference.
- If you need to organise your notes and review them later, the Cornell method might be the best fit for you.
- If you want to brainstorm and make connections between ideas, the Mind Mapping method might be the way to go.
- If you’re in a lecture or presentation and need to take quick and clear notes, the Outline method might be more suitable.
If you’re dealing with complex data or information that requires comparison and analysis, the Charting method might be the most effective.
Note-taking is a crucial skill that can help you stay organised, remember vital information, and make connections between ideas. There are different types of note-taking methods, each with its own benefits, so it’s up to you to find the one that works best for you.