There’s No “Best Way” To Take Notes
You remember her: That girl in your lecture courses with 4 different colored highlighters, complete with matching page flags and a never ending supply of Post-Its. She could have single-handedly kept an on campus OfficeMax in business buying her note taking supplies! And of course, she had straight As.
Everyone has their own style of note-taking, and the most important thing we can do is optimize whatever method works best for us. Straight-A Stephanie’s method worked for her, but that doesn’t mean Straight-A Steven did the same exact thing. Steven kept a voice recorder on his desk while he doodled furiously in an old-fashioned composition notebook, and listened to recorded lectures later at the gym. One way isn’t better than another, but Stephanie’s way was best for her, and Steven’s way was best for him.
What Is Your Learning Style?
There are three major types of learning styles:
• Uses visual objects such as graphs, charts, pictures, and seeing information
• Can read body language well and has a good perception of aesthetics
• Able to memorize and recall various information
• Tends to remember things that are written down
• Learns better in lectures by watching them
• Retains information through hearing and speaking
• Often prefers to be told how to do things and then summarizes the main points out loud to help with memorization
• Notices different aspects of speaking
• Often has talents in music and may concentrate better with soft music playing in the background
• Likes to use the hands-on approach to learn new material
• Is generally good in math and science
• Would rather demonstrate how to do something rather than verbally explain it
• Usually prefers group work more than others
You may not have stopped to consider your learning style while in school, but as a working adult it is crucial to optimize your efficiency and productive output! An auditory learner is wasting time with highlighters, and a visual learner is wasting time listening to recorded meetings in the car, sans pen and paper.
The Best Note-Taking Method For You
Everyone’s raving about the latest app, but you still love your pen and paper? You might just be a kinesthetic learner who needs physical activity to retain information. Find yourself dozing off in a presentation without visual aids? You might be a visual learner with zero retention for auditory input. If you aren’t sure what your learning style is, try this quick quiz.
Approximately 65% of adults are visual learners, and this is the learning style most presentations tend to cater to. Infographics, charts, and visually appealing layouts all serve the visual learners among us. You probably share Straight-A Stephanie’s Post-It addiction, but one lost Post-It spells disaster for your presentation.
Try a digital solution, like one of many popular note-taking apps. Many apps allow you to take and add photos, draw directly into a notepad, attach graphics, and use color-coding to your heart’s content.
Visual Thinkers Rejoice!
Inkflow works like a word-processor for visual thinking. Capture your ideas as easily as with pen and paper, then arrange and reorganize them with your fingers!
Inkflow’s ink feels like a really smooth fountain pen. Great for expressive writing or sketching. Effortlessly scale or move anything you select. This will change the way you think about ink: Jot down a list of concepts then rearrange them to fit into the bigger picture. literally move your thoughts around the page, and assemble big ideas with your fingers. This works great for brainstorming and planning. It’s also perfect for prototyping layouts, sketching, and drawing.
Evernote is the modern workspace that helps you be your most productive self. You’re on the path to something big — Evernote is where you do the work to achieve it.
- Write notes of all types, from short lists to lengthy research, and access them on any device.
- Collect web articles, handwritten notes, and photos to keep all the details in one place.
- Find your work quickly with Evernote’s powerful search.
- Present your work as it takes shape for better collaboration in meetings.
The best digital handwriting on iPad. Penultimate combines distraction-free, natural handwriting and sketching with the power of Evernote’s sync and search. Take class or meeting notes, journal your thoughts, or outline your next big idea—in the office or on the go. From the first stroke, Penultimate makes the experience of pen and paper more productive.
About 30% of adults are auditory learners who retain information best by hearing it spoken aloud. Audio books and recorded lectures are troves of knowledge that you easily retain, and you find yourself missing important information if you try to write too much during a presentation.
Your new best friend is sitting on your home screen right now. Voice Memo is a built-in voice recorder app for iPhone that can record meetings or lectures, and email audio files.
If you’re looking for something more robust to organize recorded thoughts, notes, and meetings, check out apps with audio file integration.
AudioNote combines the functionality of a notepad and voice recorder to create a powerful tool that will save you time while improving the quality of your notes. It’s the perfect app for students or business.
By synchronizing notes and audio, AudioNote automatically indexes your meetings, lectures, interviews, or study sessions. Need to review the discussion about deliverables on your next project? Trying to remember what the professor had to say about a key point? With AudioNote there is no need to waste time searching through the entire recording to find out. Each note acts as a link directly to the point at which it was recorded, taking you instantly to what you want to hear. Didn’t take any notes during the meeting? No problem, you can add them later.
Evernote’s robust features include seamless audio integration, allowing you to record conversations, meetings, and your own thoughts aloud for later review.
Microsoft’s note taking application offers an audio note feature, allowing users to create, save and tag audio notes. Check out this guide.
Many kinesthetic learners often show a preference for visual or audio learning styles, in addition to their kinesthetic preference. Kinesthetic learners can benefit from features that are more physically interactive (like writing with a stylus), or by combining features that appeal to audio and visual learners.
Try presenting the information you’re trying to retain. Read your notes aloud in different words, or speak aloud and explain a new concept or strategy into an audio note.
Corkulous™ idea board is the incredible new way to collect, organize, and share your ideas. Access your ideas anywhere on your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch with built-in iCloud support. Share your ideas with your friends and family by storing your cork boards in Dropbox. See the demo video: http://www.corkulous.com/
Corkulous is a multi-purpose app containing cork boards where you can place notes, labels, photos, contacts, and tasks. Group your ideas visually on one board or spread ideas out across multiple boards (sub-boards also supported). Each cork board has plenty of real estate to capture your best ideas and plans.
SoundNote is the best way to take notes in meetings, lectures, and interviews. It tracks what you type and draw while recording audio, so you’ll never worry about missing an important detail. During playback, just tap a word: SoundNote will jump right to the proper time in the audio.
What Kind of Notetaker Are You?
Not everyone falls neatly into the audio, visual, or kinesthetic category. Individuals often fall in a gray area between categories, and some people invent a completely new way to do things that works for them.
What sort of note taking strategies work for you?