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  • Writer's picturePrem Sundaram

10 Tips for How to create Study Notes

Are you struggling to keep up with your studies? Do you need to create effective study notes but don’t know where to start? If so, this blog post is for you! In this post, we’ll provide you with some helpful tips and tricks for creating study notes that are both effective and organized. Read on to learn how you can get the most out of your studying time.

Student creating study notes
Students creating Study Notes

Choose Your Note-Taking Method

Once you've chosen the best note-taking method for your class, it’s time to start creating your study notes. The outline, Cornell, and concept map methods are all good options to consider - your teacher may have already mentioned them to you.

This outline method is a great way to organize material and break down topics into smaller chunks. It also allows you to review lecture topics quickly and easily.

The Cornell note taking method helps organize class notes into easily digestible summaries and works well with either the outline or concept map methods.

Cornell method template
Cornell method template - courtesy Wikipedia

Finally, the concept map method provides a visual representation of the material and can be helpful for understanding relationships among ideas.

Regardless, research also shows that taking notes by hand is more effective than typing on a laptop, so be sure to bring paper or a notebook to class. Check out some of our other articles on this site like this one; How to Ace your Studies using Handwritten Flashcards

Use Abbreviations and Symbols

Once you have chosen your note-taking method, consider using abbreviations and symbols to summarize the information. This will help make the notes easier to read and understand. Furthermore, it will allow you to save time while taking notes. For instance, you can use a “>” symbol to indicate a sub-point, or use a star (*) as a symbol for an important point. Abbreviations also work well, such as using “etc” for “etcetera” or “w/o” for “without.” Doing this will help you save time while taking notes and make them easier to understand once you review them later. Feel free also to really make your notes fun and aesthetically pleasing! I'm sure you've seen images all over Pinterest of how people mark up their notes with highlights, emojis and more!

Write in Bullets and Phrases

After you’ve chosen the note-taking method that works best for you, it’s time to start creating your study notes. Writing in bullets and phrases instead of complete sentences can help you keep your notes concise and brief. This is especially important if you don’t have much time to spend on studying and need to save space on your page. Writing in bullets and phrases also helps you see individual points more clearly and easily add more details if needed. Don’t forget to keep your notes well-spaced too! During a lecture things can be going fast so try to keep up with the lecture and create a bullet point for an area where you need to go back to.

Review a Small Portion

After class, review a small portion of your notes. This will help you retain as much information as possible and make sure you didn't miss any important points. Use the cues from your notes, such as abbreviations and symbols, to quickly recall what was discussed in class. Be sure to also summarize the class in your own words and evaluate your knowledge of the subject with short questions. This will form the foundation for any further revision or study you may need to do. Tools like NoteDex are ideal to create a notecard summary of your study notes.

Evaluate Your Knowledge

After taking notes and reviewing them, it's important to evaluate your knowledge and understanding of the material. Ask yourself questions about the topics discussed, review your notes and any other resources you have (such as textbooks), and think about how the material applies to real-world examples. This helps give you a better grasp on the material and can help you determine where to focus your studying. Taking this step can also help you form connections between old and new concepts, giving you a more holistic view of the subject matter.

Use Visuals

Visual note-taking can also make you a better listener. Take time to listen as you take notes, creating a new branch for each subtopic on the left and right as you review a small portion. To build these important listening skills and establish a shared background knowledge base, use visuals to help reinforce your notes. From students to CEOs, anyone can benefit from taking visual notes, so learn how to effectively practice visual note taking with powerful visual note taking techniques, tips and editable templates you can use. This is where the concept mapping really shines. A visual note is also a great study guide when you need to refer back to it - remember a picture is worth a thousand words!

Keep Notes Well-Spaced

Keeping your notes well-spaced will help make them easier to read and absorb information. This will help you to stay focused in class, as well as to review the material later. When taking notes, make sure to leave enough room between lines and paragraphs for additional information or annotations. Make sure that you clearly label each section so that you can easily refer back to it later. If you are using a laptop or tablet, be sure to adjust the font size and line spacing so that it is comfortable for your eyes. By keeping your notes well-spaced and clearly labeled, you will be able to better review the material and make the most of your learning experience. Additionally, if you use a notecard tool like NoteDex you can nicely see all your notecards on one page which makes it visually easier to organize and retrieve notes later.

Be Attentive During the Lecture

It is important to be attentive during the lecture so that you can capture the key concepts and write down the main ideas. You can make sure that you remain alert, attentive and accountable by taking notes in class using the two-column (Cornell) method or something similar. This will help you remember what was said, build up your understanding, and make your studying and learning in general much easier. Educators can also integrate specific pauses into their lectures, tutorials or class activities for students to make revisions and updates to their notes, which will help students better understand the material. It can be helpful to record the lecture if it is allowed, be sure to get permission from the teacher/lecturer.

Write Down the Main Ideas

After evaluating your knowledge, it's important to write down the main ideas that are discussed in the lecture. This is key to understanding the content and will make it much easier to review and re-study later. You should also take note of any relationships between concepts, as well as any examples provided by the professor. Taking notes in this way will help you better understand the material and prepare for tests, and even help if you need to write an essay based on key themes.

Revise From Your Notes

Once you have taken notes and gathered all the information, it is important to revise from them. This will help reinforce the material and ensure that you have fully absorbed the content. You may find it beneficial to go back and read your notes several times, as this will help you to remember the key points of the lecture. Additionally, making flash cards or quiz yourself on specific topics can help ensure you are retaining the information. With regular revision and practice, you will be able to recall the material with ease. NoteDex is also great for making flashcards and using the study mode you can quiz yourself.


By following these tips on how to create study notes, you will be well on your way to successfully mastering the material! We hope this article was helpful and good luck with your studies!


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