Taking notes effectively

Today I will be doing some kind of research in the interesting theme for me – the effectiveness of taking notes. First of all I need to say I love all office supplies. Their names are also the stationery or writing materials. Therefore I use not only my lovely and very useful Evernote on the laptop or a phone, where even now I’m writing this note for the future article in the blog and doing my research, but also a paper moleskin or other notebooks for writing there something quickly with the pen or pencils, in order to remember, or the whole paragraphs of information which is interesting or will be helpful for me somewhere and someday.

Almost everyone has studied classes in the school. Then a lot of us has experiences in the University. Some of us took courses somewhere else. Every class has challenging. Professors cover a lot of materials for us, spoke it quickly and sometimes we haven’t time to write the real important part of the lecture. Very often we just don’t know the goal how to take good notes. I was writing just all that the professors said and
 trying to memorize it later, but it was copies of speech or the board writings. Did I understand the real meaning of the lecture, the ideas, which professors, our teachers wanted to show us? They hoped we could be able to figure it out later. But not for everyone it was possible. Now I understand that a lot of my fails and a lot of knowledge’s, which I lost from there is just my mistake in taking notes.

When I’m taking notes now I don’t write all words of a speaker or the paragraphs from the textbook, I’m looking for the main idea, the most important information. The schemes, diagrams, charts and tables with the comparison are helped me in that. Now I understand that I need just to listen and that I need to write in order to memorize. It’s a pity that I didn’t understand this when I studied in the school or University. But I’m more sad that our education system don’t use the real and helpful knowledge’s to explain us the importance of every object we study and every lecture we have to attend.

I remember, when I was in the last years in my University and started to study Japanese in the other one. Just because I wanted it so much… My teacher was my friend, who is polyglot and was even younger me. In the first time I started write notes in Japanese and the teacher every time had used just Japanese to speak with us. It was amazing, it was some kind of 
immersion in the culture of this language. Since then I remember a lot we studied, even if I didn’t speak in Japanese more then 2 years now.

It is the main point for me now. I’m studying English and starting to study German. German is like a new Planet for me now. Something incredible, strange and I understand that it will be very complicated in my age. I was born there but it means nothing. I studied German during 11 years in the school and this also means nothing. All I can is just to read and don’t know why but I have some sort of accent. Maybe just because of Japanese? Who knows? Just it is exactly not because of English, ho-ho… (Every English speaker asked me about German
in past history… They knew something…)

I want to take notes right, in order to remember all I will be learn. I need to understand the ideas and be able to figure it out not later, but in the presence. And I leave this note here to not forget.

  1. When you take notes in class, what do you write down?
  2. Do you write your notes only in English, only in your first language, or both?
  3. Do you use harts, tables, or other ways to organize your notes?
  4. Do you write down your thoughts, reactions, and questions about the lecture?
Take better notes:
1) Listen for key points: main ideas
2) Watch the board: key terms, diagrams, facts and examples
3) Write down what professor emphasizes: key information to remember
4) Paraphrase: put professors ideas in your own words
5) Don’t worry about complete sentences: just key phrases which will help you to remember the full sentence
6) Use charts and tables: pros and cons of an idea – make a chart in the columns

7) Write down questions: if anything isn’t clear, make a note so you can ask about it at the appropriate time


Discover your interests and study hard.


DSC0293424/08/2010 Кафедра Немецкого в НГЛУ им. Добролюбова