During the transition from high school to university, one thing I have drastically changed is the way in which I take notes. Many students (including me) may, at first, believe that the notetaking techniques they have developed in high school are sound (after all, these techniques did manage to get you through high school exams and into university in the first place).
However, the changes I have made in notetaking during my time at university have not only helped me better understand material, but also made things easier when it came to revision.
In high school, I was adamant about handwriting everything. Whilst it may be true that some are better able to retain information if it is hand-written, I do not think I would have managed to get down all the necessary information in lectures if I had not typed it out. Of course, this may not be as great a concern in a virtual setting where recorded lectures can be paused.
However, for an in-person lecture, I definitely preferred typing my notes. This was because for the majority of my lectures, we were given PowerPoints of the material beforehand. As such, I could use the information in the PowerPoints as a template, writing the additional information given by the lecturer around that. The one downside to having all your notes on a laptop is, however, potentially losing your files. I have had this misfortune and have learned my lesson by opting for cloud-based notetaking apps, such as OneNote.
Colour Coding notes
Colour coding has not only helped me organize my notes, but has assisted me in remembering key information via visual indicators. I strongly believe that colour coding my notes helped me navigate through the vast amount of material given to law students. For example, at the beginning of my first year I picked green as the colour for all my notes on different cases.
Aside from having a document with the main information, I also enjoyed creating mind maps in order to better navigate through material. I found mind maps to be particularly efficient notetaking formats for classes as this helped to better categorise discussion topics. Additionally, I also colour coded my mind maps which, again, definitely helped me in organizing my notes.
For more information and resources on adapting to university, check out what’s available at LSE LIFE.