Traditional note taking techniques by pen and paper are still effective, even in modern classrooms that are often filled with tablets and laptop computers.
Using abbreviations is an important component of effective note taking. The best note takers can eliminate hundreds of characters per each page by using personalized abbreviations. Words that are longer than six characters can be shortened. Additionally, it is useful to omit conjunctions when writing sentences. In fact, symbols from computer keyboards can be used to replace traditional conjunctions and other connecting phrases.
Hand drawn graphics can be used effectively to summarize ideas that require multiple sentences to describe. It is much easier to scribble a primitive drawing and label it with key words rather than write an entire paragraph about something.
When taking notes, dates should be clearly displayed on top of the page. Chronological order is very important for reviewing notes. Students shouldn’t have to spend hours shuffling through paper that is not dated. Organizing notes by date allows students to create personal archives that are used for studying. Additionally, proper date labels allow students to clearly identify any missing notes as a result of class absence.
Teachers often write notes that are directly based on material from textbooks. Students can simply reference the page number of the textbook that is used for specific notes. It’s much more effective to open up the book and read full length summaries instead of reading notes that were taken in a rushed manner.
Some teachers provide examples that are not referenced from textbooks. In science and math classes, it’s important for students to fully copy such examples that most likely will appear on upcoming exams. When taking notes on math problems, abbreviations should be kept to a minimum because there is tremendous importance in individual symbols and numbers.