- You'll appreciate having great notes when it comes crunch time for midterms and final exams.
Pen and paper? Or laptop and keyboard?
- I’m a big proponent for hand-written notes in class. I'm a big supporter of handwriting, in general.
- I usually have my laptop and/or iPad handy if I need it, but taking notes the old school way helps me eliminate any possible distractions from my computer. With so many websites to browse, homework from other courses to work on, games to play... it's easy to lose track of what the professor in front of you is teaching.
- While I personally favor writing notes by hand, there are benefits of electronic notes — including syncing content to multiple devices, and simply being a faster method of writing down lecture material.
- Some instructors sprint through their lecture slides, and it’s almost impossible to jot everything down by hand. In those cases, typing up your notes on a laptop is necessary (unless the instructor allows audio recording during lectures).
- Still, laptops should be banned in large college lectures. They distract me even when I'm not using my own laptop.
Organizing notes: the Cornell note taking method
- The Cornell note taking system was introduced to me my sophomore year of undergrad, when one of my professors actually forced us to use this method during lecture. It's a super easy way to organize your thoughts and information as you write them in class, which ultimately makes it easier to navigate when you look back at your notes to study.
- This system puts headlines and main ideas in one column (left), and corresponding notes and information into the right-hand column.