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Tips for Taking Class Notes

Sep 28, 2021

Actively taking notes during class (in-person or Zoom) will help you focus your attention and better understand the main concepts.

Write word-for-word for factual points. Write in your own words for conceptual points. Some studies show that handwritten is better. It helps you to process what is being said and improves your sense of recall.

Options for taking keyboard notes when using Zoom, include:

  1. Splitscreen: Have a Zoom window and a note-taking app window open side-by-side (see example).
  2. Keyboard Commands: Use a keyboard command to switch between apps. On a Mac use the Command + Tab keys. On a Windows computer use the Alt + Tab keys.
  3. Multiple Monitors: Have two monitors or two devices available.

If you are interested in experimenting with AI transcription try downloading on a mobile device.

Good notes are important for studying. Try looking at your notes a day or so after class. Go back with a different color pen. Underline key sentences. Pay special attention to the material that may be of use to you on the next test. Compare notes with fellow students to get their strategies for good note taking.

Here’s a short video about Cornell Note taking. The main takeaway is that you have a column for notes, a column for questions, and a bottom margin (footer) to summarize what you have learned.

Experiment. Find what works best for you.