The Absolute Best Note-Taking Ideas, Tips, and Strategies

The Absolute Best Note-Taking Ideas, Tips, and Strategies

Whether you’re headed into another school year or you have an important meeting coming up, taking notes can significantly affect how well you remember and learn new information.

But how do you take notes that you’ll actually be able to remember? How do you write all the necessary information down while your professor or boss rambles on for an hour straight?

Look no further. Here are all the note-taking ideas, tips, and strategies you’ll need.

How Do You Learn

In order to find the best way to take notes and retain information, you have to understand how you best learn. Are you a visual, auditory, reading, or tactile learner?

Your learning method influences how you absorb new information and it should also inform your note-taking choices.

In addition, your note-taking medium and study space also affect how easily you can digest fresh information, and it can also have an impact on your productivity.

Do you prefer yellow legal pads, loose sheets of paper, or a laptop? Do you study best on the couch, at the dining table, or perhaps at a standing desk?

Your study space should be comfortable, but not so comfortable you want to take a nap every time you sit down. You can try out an active sitting chair that will keep you comfortable but alert while reviewing your notes.

Note-Taking Methods

You have many options when selecting the note-taking strategy that is best for you. You can organize your notes just as you would organize your thoughts in your mind.

Generally, your notes will have topic headings and sub-topics and general notes, but the visual appearance of these sections will be different depending on the method you choose.


The Cornell note-taking method is best for reviewing and summarizing information. You can list the subjects and main ideas in a column on the left while scribbling your notes on the larger column on the right.

After class, you can summarize your notes on the bottom of the page, or wait to fill in the main ideas on the left until you have time to review them.

Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a great note-taking strategy for visual learners. While it still includes the main topic, sub-topics, and details, it lays them out in a more visually digestible manner.

Connecting different bubbles of notes to each other can also create relationships between concepts and keywords. Reviewing these relationships supports memorizing topics, especially for visual learners.


Note outlining requires less organizing ahead of time. You can list the main topics, sub-topics, and notes indented one under the other.

This method still allows for easy relationship association between main and sub-topics. It also organizes notes for simple transformation into review questions and studying.

Final Note-Taking Tips

Deciding how to take notes is crucial for learning and retaining new information when studying. Your note-taking ideas have an impact on how well you are able to memorize, recite, and communicate your new knowledge.

Once you perfect your studying space, you’ll be ready to review your notes and present all of the significant information you’ll need to discuss it and succeed on exams.

Start with the right studying chair. Then, select your preferred note-taking method. Finally, you’ll be ready to be the star student in your class.

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