5 thoughts on “Effective note taking

  1. Interesting. I have encountered this issue before. I feel it is better to take notes by hand; however, the idea of taking complete notes with a laptop or other electronic device is indeed very tempting. I personally find it difficult to separate the important information from the trivial information in a lecture; thus, I am tempted to write everything down. I will continue to take notes by hand and teach myself to summarize only the important information.

    • I can see how taking notes by hand would benefit most people more than using a laptop. Theoretically, if they could break the habit of typing notes verbatim, and begin conceptualizing while they type, laptop users could learn just as well.

      I’m the type of person who waits to start writing stuff down until I’ve thought long enough about it to grasp it. I end up with very little notes, but I don’t have to weed through the less important stuff. I also take notes with lots of made-up symbols that are placed in specific locations, so I like the ability to customize my notes–something I couldn’t do on a laptop.

  2. I agree that note taking the old fashioned way is more beneficial, at least for me anyway. I am not a fast typer and don’t believe I will ever use a laptop to take notes during my college career. I feel I write faster and listen more intently than if I typed it. Another disadvantage with laptops is if there’s a graph or a model the lecturer uses, it would be easier to draw it on paper than on a laptop because on a laptop you may have to create or search for the image, making you miss what they say during that time.

  3. Yes, handwriting notes is something that has been proven to be more beneficial, yet sometimes I like to reinforce what I learn by typing them as well. This also organizes and makes them readily available for future studying. I do feel, however, that in today’s incredible technological age that we are not utilizing our full potential for cognitive precision. I have thought of possibly recording lectures and writing down time stamps that important information was given, or one could possibly find more use out of color coding and highlighting notes to their preference. The fact that our society has become exponentially more advanced since the dawn of education only increases the need for our way of remembering such complex information to evolve in order to continue a positive climb in modern academics.

  4. I agree that writing is far superior to typing when it comes to taking notes. I have found that I can recall material much more easily during a test if I have, at some point, handwritten that material. I have also found that paraphrasing complex ideas and writing out additional explanations helps me to understand that material later. It’s like I’m explaining the concepts to myself.

    The article makes a good point that writing, because it is slower than typing, can hinder you from recording all necessary material. I admit I have found myself furiously writing what the previous slide said while trying to pay attention to my teacher’s lecture on the current slide. For this reason I have found it helpful if the teacher or professor provides their powerpoint with room for notes.

    There is also the unbeatable convenience factor of having your notes in your computer. As the article mentions at it’s conclusion though, we as students are beginning to get the best of both worlds. Technologies with stylus capabilities will allow for the compact storage of notes without compromising the effectiveness of good old-fashioned hand written notes.

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