We all know somebody that boasts they don’t need to take notes because they have such a great memory. Then they’ll turn around a day later and ask for yours. It’s no surprise, as we forget a staggering 40% of newly learned information after the first 24 hours!
That’s why note taking is so important. It’s the best way to refresh information and cement it in our memories.
Note taking isn’t easy, though. Efficient and effective note taking is almost an art form. With that in mind, we need all the tips we can get for better note taking, and here are six of our best.
1. Making Use of Our Devices
A long time ago, speech-to-text was more a source of misheard comedy than a viable note taking method. Those days are long gone, and now the available tools are accurate and fast. They are precise enough that we can even use them for taking notes!
The seductive part of this note taking method is that it’s lightning-fast and requires almost no work. You can take hours of notes with no effort by letting the recorder roll!
There are hundreds of options available to you if your notes can be extracted from speech. A world of paid apps and free alternatives await your perusal.
Consider experimenting with Google’s voice typing feature if you want to try this method for free. It will transcribe all of the notes automatically for you. That means you can sit back and relax.
But apps can harvest information from more than just speech. If you’ve got an infographic or a word-dense picture, there’s a way to get it all into text. The TextSniper app can extract text from anything, turning a monotonous job into a single-click affair.
2. The Pen Is Mightier Than the App
Now we’re moving from modern note taking technology to something a little more old-school. Sometimes the traditional ways of doing things are the best, and it’s hard to argue against the classic notepad and pencil.
Everyone around you might be feeling flashy with their new-fangled phones, tablets, and laptops. What happens when they have some kind of technical issue, though? All their notes will be lost, costing time and money to retrieve! You’ll have no such trouble with your trusty notepad, though.
As long as you can resist doodling in the margins, there are also far fewer things to take your attention away from your notes. No beeping and flashing notifications or apps demanding your attention. There’s also the added benefit of not having your hands tied by the limitations of the app or software you are using.
You’re free to take your notes in whatever form you want. The only thing you’re limited by is how tired your hand might get.
3. Making a Classic Method Cleaner
Maybe you like taking notes, but you don’t want to struggle with how disorganized it can be. If that’s the case, a bullet journal is for you. It adds a new level of organization to your notepad.
You use an index and a series of collections and symbols to categorize your notes. It’s too complicated to dive into the exact details, but you can take a read of this to learn how to make your own.
Does physical notetaking with a pen and paper not interest you? If that’s the case, that’s fine! There are plenty of note taking apps that let you make electronic bullet journals.
4. Map Out Your Notes
If you’re trying to juggle multiple sets of notes and different ideas, it can become too much to handle. If you’ve reached that point and are starting to lose track of it all, consider making a mind map.
Mind maps are a more visual way to represent your data and notes and allow you to see the relationship between different topics and ideas. It’s almost therapeutic to get your brain on paper like this, as it helps unclutter your mind.
Start off with your core concept and build from that with multiple branches. It’s fantastic for taking notes, but it’s also a good brainstorming tool. That means you might even come up with new ideas or realize that you’ve been missing something!
5. Coding Your Notes for Speed
Mastering your own system of words and symbols can be a way to trivialize complex notes. Why go through the struggle of noting down everything verbatim, as if you’re doing a professional transcription when only you will read it?
By creating a system of symbols, acronyms, and abbreviations, you can reduce your note taking workload by at least double! Talk about faster note taking!
Creating an entire language of symbols might seem like more hassle than taking notes normally. It’s not as difficult as you might think, though. There are plenty of resources online that can help you get started, such as this list of the most common note taking symbols.
If you start with an easy-to-understand base, you won’t end up in a situation where you forget what certain symbols mean. Then, once you’ve got a solid grasp of your base, you can start adding your own custom symbols!
6. A Smart Approach to Note Taking
More so than any app, indexed notepad, or secret symbols, learning efficient note taking will make the most difference. When you first start taking notes, you might feel as if it’s necessary to jot down every single detail. You need to focus on separating the wheat from the chaff in your notes.
Zero in on key ideas and note those down, only taking a record of pertinent details. This is easier said than done, but it’s where you’ll see the most potential to improve note taking.
After enough practice, you’ll see that your notes are becoming concise, easy to read, and to the point.
Practice Makes Perfect
Whatever reason you’re practicing note taking, we hope these tips help you out. Although doing it old-school with a pen and paper works, you should make the most of the digital tools available. The world is moving faster every day, and it’s the best way to keep up!
Another way you can keep up is by sticking around and reading more of the articles on our blog https://influenciveaffairs.com. There are plenty of topics that might interest you, and we are posting new content every day!