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How To Take Better Notes?

How To Take Better Notes?

Everyone can take notes in their personalized manner, by making comparisons, using different colored pens, sticky notes, etc. There are hundreds of different ways, where students combine learning styles and note-taking tactics to find the best one to help them.

A school LMS plays a major role in doing so. Video availability of online education, students also have the option to record classes and properly take notes in their free time so they have good references before every examination. This calls for elaborate and efficient methods that can mostly help high school and college students.

The Cornell method

It was first discovered in 1950 at Cornell University by professor Walter Pauk.

Students prefer taking notes by simultaneously writing important keywords in the class. Everything that a lecturer says is either a part of this subject’s explanation, example, or application. When students learn it for the first time, they might not completely understand the topic and jot down things mindlessly. The Cornell method was discovered to overcome these problems.

How to use

Make two columns, one for main keywords questions and the other for summaries, reviews, and explanations. This is the best note-taking method because it helps in normal revisions, concept clearing, and before examinations. After all, students note every point carefully in both columns.


  • Grasping the base concept and important portions to study for exams.
  • A better understanding of any topic since explanations are also given besides the main ideas.
  • Notes are automatically organized in the pattern it was explained in a classroom.
  • Includes most discussed topics in the classroom, meaning not many revision classes would be required.

The Outline method

It is what the name suggests, an outline or structure of every important point in a topic. Students love using the outline method, especially middle school ones since they are just starting to learn how to take elaborate notes. They can play around with the points to add under an outline, include as many bullets as possible and draw some diagrams to make it look interesting.

How to use

Ideal for students of all ages, it is recommended for overall summarization and understanding quickly before entering a revision class or at the end of the day. When an outline method is used students develop the habit of regularly reading their notes because it is structured and shows the progression of information.


  • Every key point is highlighted.
  • An established chronological order of the progression of ideas to make complete sense of the topic.
  • Extremely revision friendly.
  • Students can use their creativity to draw diagrams and charts as a part of their learning outline.
  • Helps in establishing a structured study routine like the structured note-taking pattern.

The Mapping method

Have you ever heard about mind maps? No, not the normal map that gives you directions. It is a learning method that helps students improve information retention capacity.

The basic idea of mapping is to organize or structure different points of understanding in a topic into two branches so that when students go through the information later they can relate the keywords. It starts with the title or the main topic, and then branches into various related subtopics. Students can use mind maps when they are in a hurry or would like to focus more on the explanation while noting down only the keywords.

How to use

Although it is common learning and note-taking methodology, students don’t prefer it because a lot of the explanations are missing and only keywords are branched which might not be great for revision. It is best used for understanding the linear progression of a topic. If you have an objective type examination, or surprise quiz expected by the end of this week, use the mapping method to learn faster.


  • Easy to construct.
  • Can be used in almost every subject.
  • Clear organized way of understanding and establishing the relationship between keywords.
  • The go-to method for busy students because it offers flexibility in noting only points and not entire explanations.

Schools are diversifying they now have a portal for everything, whether it is to manage fees or students through an admission management system. With technology, learning methodologies are also diversifying as teachers become more and more aware of unique learning resources. If these note-taking methods have not already been introduced in your class, take a step forward. Learn better, and help your classmates to do it too! Students take notes in their free time so they have good references before every examination. This calls for elaborate and efficient methods that can mostly help high school and college students.

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