Your hand is trembling, and there is a huge corn on your finger. These are symptoms painfully familiar to students, diligently writing down every word said by a professor.
Well, this is how it was in the past. Now the situation has changed a bit. You either sit twiddling your thumbs, hoping in your memory or use technology to record lecture message. Or you try to put everything down in the same old way.
Sounds like you? Then stop doing it, because none of these note-tacking techniques works. Even almighty laptop or iPad won’t help you benefit from a lecture. You may master touch typing, but this thing is aimed at speed not at subject understanding.
It’s all about writing that provokes brain activity and so memorizing information. But how to turn back-braking note-taking into productive activity? These ideas may work out.
Idea #1: Much doesn’t mean well
Since school we were taught to write down everything being said. From habit, many students do the same when at college and try to record every tutor’s word. All in vain. Professors do lecturing at quick pace, not dictate syllable by syllable. So, if you want to keep up with the topic being delivered, then you can have handouts if any, to back your note-taking up.
Idea #2: Use contractions
Cutting two-hour lecture into one-page summary is an art in itself but is quite possible to master. Shortening is a technique any student can use to improve note-taking. Everything depends on your imagination. You can develop the whole system of symbols denoting particular words or ideas. Or you may simply use graphs and charts to put down key information there.
Want more? Use time-honored bullet lists to arrange essential points in a readable way. All kinds of arrows showing cause and effect relations between arguments may also work well when taking notes.
Idea #3: Don’t write as you hear it
Let’s kill two birds with one stone. Try writing down information in your own words, not repeating it as being said by professor unless these are specific terms. When you process ideas in your mind, you can put down only those that really matter, leaving out unnecessary ones. Doing so, you assimilate information and don’t waste time and efforts for needless note-taking.
Idea #4: Have you notes taken by a smart machine
In the age of technologies, it would be silly not to take advantage of smart devices to simplify learning. Although here it will go about helpful note-taking apps, which are lots and lots to fit any taste.
Still, among loads of note-taking programs Evernote is rightly thought to be the best one. Store information in any amount, take pictures, draw charts and record interviews. You can do all these actions by means of one application.
Want something simpler? Here you are: Simplenote. Ease of use is its significant feature. It’s designed to take notes, tag them and store. What else is needed for a busy student?
And for the finale, upgraded note-taking app with stylus attached. Penultimate will save your handwritten notes, sketches or pictures and, of course, save you precious time when note-taking.
Hope with these ideas in your service you’ll manage to turn off the beaten path of tiresome note-taking and make your studies easier.