We’ve all heard Dorothy’s famous quote from The Wizard of Oz “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” used in various contexts. Well, Dorothy, unfortunately, you’re not in high school anymore. That means no more notes being passed out in thick packets or being neatly organized to deal with certain topics on certain days. College takes taking notes to a whole new level, and a difficult one at that. Therefore, here is a list of useful tips for the next time you are getting flustered with note-taking:
1.) Don’t try and write down every word your professor says! Focus on key points of information. It will save you time when studying and will save your hand from cramping.
2.) Avoid copying PowerPoint/Prezi slides word for word. Figure out the main point and write that, and only that. And if you are not sure what Prezi is, you need to find out!
3.) Use the marginal method. You know that space at the end of college-ruled notebook paper where it has a faint line? Fold that into your page. Now, only take notes in the non-folded section. Any of your questions, potential test questions or special highlighted notes you take away from the lecture should go in the folded tab, keeping your notes clean and organized.
4.) If a word or phrase is repeated, write it down! There is a reason your professor is repeating it, trust me. It will most likely show up on your test later or help you understand test materials.
5.) Ask if you’re allowed to use your laptop to take notes. People tend to type faster than they can write things down. Just make sure you turn off the Internet to avoid being tempted by social media. Unless of course you’re using one of our recommended apps to stay organized!
These tips are sure-fire ways to taking great notes in college. Got any others? Tell them to us in the comments section below!