With the school year approaching fast, we're easing ourselves back into study mode. It's never too early to make a plan for how you'll study this semester. With some preparation, and the note-taking tips below, you'll be on track to have your best academic year yet.
1. Establish Your Own Note-Taking System and Stick to It
This is the most important tip, which is why it's first. It's so important to establish a personal note-taking style. Maybe you indent your notes in a certain way, maybe you color-code according to the subject, or maybe you use different shapes of bullet points for different information. The options are endless.
Also, you may want to use different note-taking styles for different classes. Here's a great overview of some possible styles to use and their applications.
Whatever styles you choose, make sure you stick with them throughout the semester - this will make your notes more consistent and easy to review come crunch time.
2. Don't Just Highlight and Underline
Research has shown that while highlighting and underlining makes you feel like you're taking in more information, they're actually largely ineffective. Says a Time Magazine report,
Some research even indicates that highlighting can get in the way of learning; because it draws attention to individual facts, it may hamper the process of making connections and drawing inferences.
Break the highlighter habit and reap the benefits! As a bonus, your books and notes will look prettier and less messy, too.
3. Get Digital
These days, we do everything on our smartphones and computers, so it's only natural to have our notes accessible on our tech, too. However, research has shown that physically taking notes by hand is superior to typing when it comes to information retention and understanding. So what's a tech-savvy girl to do?
Enter the game-changer: Wacom's Bamboo Spark smart notebook is the stuff of futuristic dreams and is the perfect solution to this problem. Their special pen and pad digitizes your notes as you write them, transforming your handwriting into text so you can physically take notes in class and review them on your tablet or device instantly once you're done.
4. Use Charts, Graphs, and Doodles
Visual aids are so helpful to take your notes to the next level, especially if you're a visual learner. (I've noticed an interest in fashion often goes alongside a visual learning style, and it makes sense!)
My favorite thing about the Bamboo Spark notebook is that it digitizes your charts, formulas, and drawings, too! Unlike when taking notes on your computer, your visual aids come with you when you use the Bamboo Spark.
5. Review Your Notes Often
This is one of the most basic but most overlooked note-taking tips. In order to really retain information, you need to review your notes on a regular basis.
I recommend setting up a schedule for note review - even an hour or two a week will make a huge difference come test time.
Bonus! Win your own Bamboo Spark!
If you're dreaming of a Bamboo Spark smart notebook of your very own, good news: Wacom is giving one away on their Instagram page! Just visit their Insta for details on how to win.
How do you take notes?
What are your best note-taking tips? Do you follow a specific system? Do you have a timeline for how often you review your notes? What do you think of the Bamboo Spark? Tell me in the comments!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Wacom. The opinions, as always, are our own. For more information, please see our Disclosure page.