Write Now, Organize Later

Organization is extremely important in note taking, and you have to make sure that you are organized to take good notes. However, it is important to note that there isn’t always enough time for you to organize your notes in class as much as you might like. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that you will encounter a situation at some point in which you simply don’t have the time to take notes in an organized fashion. If this is the case and you find yourself in a situation in which you have to throw organization to the wind, there are several things that you should remember.

      • First, it is important to remember that your goal is to take notes on the key points and not to transcribe everything that your teacher or professor says word for word. This is important because you will have to use your notes to study and/or find information at some point, and it will be significantly more difficult for you to use your notes if you can’t tell whether the information in your notes is actually important. This means that you have to make sure that you are only copying the information that appears to be important, so you don’t end up wasting your time reorganizing information and/or reviewing information that you should have never taken notes on in the first place.
    • Secondly, if you find yourself in a situation in which you simply don’t have time to organize everything, try to make sure that your notes are still legible. This is important because a lot of people get so caught up in trying to take notes on all of the information that a teacher or professor covers that they forget that they actually need to be able to read them later. This means that it is important for you to regularly check your notes as you’re writing them to make sure that you can still read your own handwriting and that your notes aren’t all bunched together.
    • Third, try to make sure that you go back and reorganize your notes right after school. This is important because you will probably have to use abbreviations, symbols, shorter sentences, and other similar techniques to note everything that you need to note. This means that you may want to rewrite your notes as soon as you get home, so you can make sure that all of the concepts that you have taken notes on are in a logical order, that your notes are actually legible, and that you will actually be able to understand all of the shorthand that you have used in your notes when you need to review them later.