HOW TO TAKE NOTES
LIKE A PRO
From: College Students To You!
• I recommend organizing your notes as you take them. Besides using bullet points, take
highlighters and different colored pens with you to class! It will save you the time of having to
edit the notes later, and let's be honest, you won’t look at them until the next exam anyways.
• Abbreviate in order to save time and keep up! Also, don't copy the lecture word for word;
change it up into words and phrases that you will remember, making studying easier later.
• I like to take notes on the power point slides, print outs or on my tablet. I used a kindle my last
two semesters, I would buy my text books there and was able to take notes and highlight the
digital texts book and create print outs for test when I needed to.
• I highlight in textbooks.
• I use a notebook for each class. I always write in pencil...everyone does make mistakes! I write
down things I find important when I read from my textbooks.
• During class, when we have fill in the blank notes, I write down extra, when I feel it is necessary.
• Stick to the same format (hyphen, bullet point, number etc.)
• Use different colors to separate the information (definitions, statistics, facts)
• Use a different notebook or section for each class
• Write legibly
• Hand write your notes rather than typing them as studies show you're more likely to remember
information you write
• Take them on your laptop; it's fun to type, make fun bullets or highlight! It's always easy to erase
or change the format too!
• Color code! I use highlighters and that helps me TONS! I also don’t focus on the handwriting
that much. It doesn't have to be neat, it has to be understandable
• I always printed out power points if they were available before class, or any handouts, and took
my notes on those along with the lecture! If I was taking notes from the book, I kept a notepad
document open on my laptop and typed important pointers from the book, organized by
chapter. When it came time for exams, I would add important points from my handwritten notes
on the PowerPoints to the word document of book notes I typed up! Then I printed that and
used it to review!
• A lot of professors will upload a lecture outline or slides to a website for students to download. I
made sure to print those out before each class and to take my own notes while the professor
was lecturing. My freshman year, I volunteered to take notes for a hearing impaired student in
one of my classes, and used helping her as motivation to take beautiful and detailed notes. See
if your campus has a student disabilities office; a lot of times you earn volunteer hours just for
going to class, which is also great if your sorority or club requires them!
• Take paper notes, not on the computer, as much as possible. It will help you remember things
better, and things are easier to find in one notebook. I typically transfer all my notes to the
computer a few weeks before the exam and make a study guide.
• Use bullet points and rephrase things in your own words. Take notes even if a PowerPoint will
be online later for you to look at; odds are you'll look at it a month later and not remember
anything, unless you wrote it down in the first place.
• Come up with your own system to help you skim; I highlight words that are followed by a
definition and put a star by important points, while terms I might not know go on the first page
of that day's notes so I can look them up later.