Three Ways to Take Notes


Note-taking is something everyone does (or should do), though every student has a different method. Trying out multiple kinds of notes can help you to figure out which type helps you learn the material the best.

Cornell Notes

A lot of students have heard of or used Cornell notes, though they are not necessarily a favorite. Whether liked or not, this method is worth a try because they are effective and are variable based on personal preference.

To create these notes, fold or draw a line on your paper two and a half inches from the left edge. This section can be used for either review questions, vocabulary, or both. The next fold or line will be two inches from the bottom. The bottom is for a summary of the page. The content of the notes will be in the six inch wide space remaining on the right side of the page.

An example of Cornell notes

Plain Outline

Some people don’t like anything extra on their page so they can focus on the content. A plain outline is the best way to record all needed content in an organized way.

This is also one of the most recognized and classic ways to take notes, likely because of its simplicity. There are strict ways to do it, but you can fix the symbols the way you like. The basic format of these notes look like the picture below.

An example of simple outline notes

Pretty Notes

Since notes should help you no matter what they look like, an artistic set of notes can be seen as unnecessary. On the other hand, some people find embellished notes to help more because it makes the information stand out.

To find inspiration for what you might want your notes to look like, you can search for other people’s examples online. As shown in the photo of the Cornell notes, you can use different colors, doodles, and fonts to make your pages pretty.

Pretty notes can look however you want

I recommend trying all of the listed notes, as well as finding more styles and seeing what works best for you. If you combine different types and take individual aspects from each one, you can even make your own unique notes that will help you with that goal of straight A’s.