1 Jun 2011

how I organise my lecture notes

Jennifer asked me how I organise my lecture notes and here is my post on it. Firstly, before lectures, I print off the notes and then annotate them during the actual lecture. After this, they go into a normal A4 ringbinder. I then write up these lectures in a notebook after the lecture along with any extra reading I had done. I usually use these Muji notebooks:



I write the title of the module on the front so that I know what the contents of the notebook will consist of. Now, to look inside.



As you can see, I try and draw my own diagrams so that I learn it at the same time as writing the things out. I also like using coloured pens (usually the Uniball Eye ones in a 0.5mm nib). More pictures:




Now onto notes from another module (these are laid out differently).





This time, there is less colour and more underlining in red. I find the red and blue contrast work really well. The pens here are Muji gel pens in 0.5mm (blue) and a Uniball rollerball in 0.7mm (red).



If diagrams are too complex to draw out, I tend to print them out from lecture notes - or if they aren't very clear, I look a better one up on Google Images. 


I find putting things in boxes very helpful as it keeps all the same information in the same place. It also helps my brain remember things more clearly. More on that post it note to the left...


I use post it notes to put extra reading, additional notes are important diagrams which may be of importance or may help me learn what would have been a paragraph of text. Putting them on post its also reinforce the fact that there isn't that much to learn (when in reality, there is. But condensing it onto a small post it does help with my mentality!)



Now, onto the last stage of revision. Flash cards. I use them more as note cards where I condense the information further. Anything that is already clear in my mind or that I already know is now left out and as little information as possible is put on them. Most of the time, I only use flashcards for things that REALLY need sticking in my brain, i.e. things that I keep reading but don't seem to enter my brain.




Anyway, I hope this is of help to anyone who was interested in how my lecture notes are organised and written up.

25 comments

  1. It is absolutely amazing how organized your notes are. Mine are pretty neat, but nowhere close to that. :)

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  2. As a self confessed geek I LOVE your notes. Unfortunately my mum decided to get rid of all my old medical school notes last year.
    Very organised and lovely.

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  3. Thanks for posting this! I'm now inspired to add more colour to my notes. Not only would it make my notes funner to read, but I would also be taking that extra time to really look for patterns and key points to tie in together with coloured pens :)

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  4. Thanks for your comments :] I too, am a neat freak - but also a geek! (Aren't we all though, for lusting after Filofaxes,various diaries and stationery?)

    Jennifer - I do agree that colours really do make notes more fun. As you can see in the pictures above, learning about all things physics like in a 'biochemistry' degree is not so fun; so anything to combat that helps! Hope this post has helped you in some way :]

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  5. You have such lovely handwriting and your notes look gorgeous (even if I have no clue what they might be all about)

    I'm due to start a course again in September after a long break from education so will be referring back to your post I think a lot then

    Lx

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  6. Wow! This is so neat. I wish my writing was this neat. Great job.

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  7. This is so beautiful! It makes me want to go back to college NOW! :) I love to go back and look at my physics notebook, which is the class I doodled in the most. I have some really great perspective drawings of gravity demonstrations and of course black holes and worm holes in every margin. XD

    War In Modern Times was a good one too. I loved drawing out the maneuvers and attack patterns of armadas and armies. :)

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  8. Wow - your organized notes leave me feeling somewhat speechless! I have to confess, I've never seen anybody's notes so neat and well organized! My handwriting changes with the notepaper feel, the weather, the pen, etc., but yours is so consistent! Nice!

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  10. Fantastic post! I loved every bit of it; making me look forward to uni this september more and more!

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  11. This is Gorgeous and an inspiration for all of us wading through university!

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  12. Did you use Muji pens to write in the Muji notebook? The ink is such s pretty blue shade!

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    1. Muji notebook: Uniball Eye pens

      In the Oxford notebook: Muji pens with the red pen being a Uniball Signo gelstick 0.5mm :)

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  13. wow your notes are so good organized :o
    I wish I could write like you!!!
    Can you maybe give us more tips, like how to learn and stay organized for exams etc??? that would be great!!! I also study chemistry, but in Germany ;)

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    1. I'm so so sorry for such a late reply!

      I have done a series on posts under the category of university :) if those aren't as useful as you'd like, feel free to email me or comment and I'll do my best to be helpful! x

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  14. So organized! Can you go a little more in depth with your notes and your method would be extremely efficient with my point of view.

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  15. This is amazing!
    I am having a super hard time finding similar notebooks in Canada. The closest I can find are Moleskine X-large ruled notebooks (come in a pack of 3) but they are much more expensive than the Muji's. I also can't find reliable information on the quality of the notebooks.
    From one student to another, this is seriously an inspiration! I can't wait to start grad school and organize my notes so beautifully.

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  16. Love the way you take your notes! Xxx

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  17. im sorry this is just unbelieveable I need your handwriting!!!!! Pls! how do you write so consistently??? PLs!!!! I want your writing!

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  18. you're notes are so neat!! I've just finished my second year and could only with for this level of organised!

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  19. Are your Muji notebooks A4 or A5? I really like them and I'm trying decide what to use for college notes (I'm going to be a first-year soon). All the best xx

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    1. Hi, the size is called B5 according to the label. x

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  20. Your notes are amazing. I'm inspired !

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  21. Are the colors you use for your notes special? Like do you have certain colors for titles, other colors for definitions etc. or do you just wing it? If you do have a guideline for what colors you use, please share it! Your notes look beautiful!

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