Saturday, 23 May 2015

How To: Take Notes in Class

Assalamualaikum, hello there! 
Okay this isn’t  like the previous post in which I was writing on tips to enjoy school and suddenly diverted into an emotional mood. this is a legit how-to post. I’ve discovered that a lot of people don’t take notes and I’m definitely not against it I just feel like taking notes helps a lot. 

I divide this post into two parts. 1st part is just general reminder. 2nd part is the how-to. You can just jump into which part you wanna read. 


A few things to remember are:

- you have to know when to take notes. sometimes you really don’t have to this is totally up to you. for example, I take notes in lectures but not necessarily in tutorials. this is because i’d love to engage more in discussions during tutorials so I only use the notes from the lecture to get points and discuss with the others. if there are new and important points, only then do I fit the new information somewhere in between my lecture notes. if I attend speeches, like TedxUQ yesterday, I chose to not take notes because I just wanna immerse in their amazing speeches.

- dare yourself to try different methods of note taking and find one (or more) that suits you best. different subjects sometimes need different systems. 

- it’s called note-taking not transcript-ing. transcript is a text format of people says, so be aware that you’re gonna take notes, not creating a text format of what your lecturer / teacher said in class or lectures.

So here I will only write about the system that I use and how to use them. If you wanna research more, YouTube is your best friend. Not google, YouTube! There are lots of informative videos for note-taking methods and they definitely helped me. The ones that I use are from Thomas Frank (or College Geek), if you’re too lazy to read just go check him out here.

1. Outline method 
Looks something like this: 

google image

my version

I don’t jot down everything, I just type in what I see on the slides as well as some descriptions that I hear. Later on I just create a link in my head on what my lecturer was talking about. For example if I only heard Afghanistan - war - women, then my head wandered off to another realm. I’ll just know that in Afghanistan there’s a war and it involves women, if there’s women then it could involve children, welfare and feminism. yeah something like that. 

2. Outline + Cornell method + my own method

The real Cornell method looks like this:

google image

I only divide my note into the three-columns like Cornell’s but I divide them into, notes (to be used when revising), lecture notes (following outline method) and the summary to write summary of THE PAGE and not THE TOPIC. just my way of reminding myself what I’ve learnt, page by page. Here’s how it looks like:

my version

If you’re wondering, I use my laptop to take notes but Frank says studies show that people who uses pen and paper retain information better. I just feel comfortable using laptop so yeah everyone has their own preferences. If you have questions, just comment or ask me on Or not lol. 

Thanks for reading!



  1. So.. Are in university people are allowes to take notes using laptop in classes? Or are you using tablet for this?

    This sure help a lot, I figured out cornell version late last year when I was about facing SPM (which is too late) but sure, this method can be applied during university, ehehe

    1. Hi! Thanks for reading. Yeap uni is more flexible. I started using laptop to take notes in college during my foundation years. then I just figure out it's faster for me to use laptop. Although i still use manual note taking method to write academic essays. I'll make a post about that too :)

  2. Kita lagi prefer manual note T-T Kat lappy lama lama sakit mata oh

    1. haah betullll hahahaha naik power specs sebab laptop ni ha. darah tinggi pun ada kot hahahahahahaha


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