15 May 2014

how I've kept my university notebooks and why

So far this year, I've gone through two A4 spiral bound notebooks. These notebooks are used exclusively for the group work I do twice a week, for three hours at a time. Each week, we have group work - once on Monday and again on Thursday and during this time, we do a clinical case where we work out learning objectives we all have to go away and research for the next group work session. This is what I have used a spiral bound notebook for.

I thought I'd share how I've kept my notebooks because they show how I do 'self-directed learning' and also how I modify and add to things during the feedback sessions to ensure that I have a full complement of information necessary for exams and clinical practice.

So far, I've gone through two notebooks:

In term one, I loved using washi tape to highlight important words. I had a 'definitions' list for each week as I've found that this course is almost like learning a whole new language.

Later on, I also opted to highlight instead of use washi tape...

And I also took to drawing out diagrams too. Post-it notes are used during the feedback sessions to add to the notes I've made. If I've missed something or hear of a resource someone else has recommended, this all goes on the post-it.

I also draw out mechanisms (pictures are so much easier to learn than text). The last picture is from term two and at this point, I introduced a lot more blank space than I did in term one. The blank space has definitely aided my learning in that it breaks up chunks of text and doesn't make all of the information I need to learn seem so intimidating.

Colour is used a lot in my notes and I find this helps with remembering keywords or small nuggets of information.

For term three, I have tweaked my study techniques slightly again which I'm sure I will talk about in the coming weeks or months once I have some notes that are worthy of being shared.

Do you have any self-study tips that you'd like to share? :)


  1. I love your writing so much! it's so tidy. my university notes which people commented on as being 'neat' are a mess compared to these!! Can't say I was ever good at the 'self directed stud' bit though...

  2. Your notes are so clean and pretty! Will you be doing a how to prepare/study for an exam post? I'd like to know because I'm starting med tech in autumn and I know that there will be so much to learn, it's quite intimidating and scary!

    1. I am planning on writing one but unfortunately, I'm not sure when it will go live! Will see if I get some time at the weekend (or a weekend) as my workload is pretty heavy at the moment and exams are coming up in a few weeks! x

    2. No problem! Exams should be your priorities! ;)

  3. Your notes are so neat! Mine are all over the place, I find that if I'm in a class or anywhere that isn't home, my notes are a scribbled mess! Love the idea of using post it notes to add information later on, why had I never thought of that!? xx

  4. I used the exactly the same methods when I was student in Biology, but with more diagrams ... Now in the PhD are more Seminar and Workshop. So, I use SketchNotes style, whit black and white using typography to highlight some keyword. Some time I have whit me one or two color marker and I use them to give some colors, but after the degree ... well ..."be serious" it's the style that academy impose you ;-)

  5. Your notes are beautiful!!

  6. I just wanted to say, I love all your uni-related posts! I love to see how others study and incorporate that into my own study sessions! :)