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  • Writer's pictureJenny Hunt

16 Benefits Of Notetaking

4th January 2021

It's that time of year when we have good intentions for getting organized and decluttering our lifestyles. TV Shows such as Netflix's Get Organized with The Home Edit are inspiring us to have decluttered, yet functional, homes and work places which also look beautiful and can be maintained for the long term.

Notebooks can do the same for our memory, thoughts and learning - getting us focused, organized and efficient. And, they can be beautiful too!

Taking and making notes helps us to focus. This skill is useful throughout all stages of our lives, not just when we are in school or colleague actively learning, but in the work place to document decisions, in our personal lives to make decisions and also as we get older and our memories aren't as good as they once were.

When we are passively listening, we are in danger of not focusing and taking all of the information on board. We are more likely to understand and remember information when we are actively listening. But taking notes uses more parts of our brains for processing and remembering information.

16 Benefits Of Notetaking

  1. Improves focus and attention to detail.

  2. Get an overview of a topic.

  3. Increases active learning and productivity.

  4. Helps with evaluating and decision making.

  5. Increases understanding and memory retention.

  6. Keep lots of associated information in one place.

  7. Recording milestones to reach goals.

  8. Develops organizational skills.

  9. Maintains engagement.

  10. Keeps a record of ideas / decisions.

  11. Increases prioritizing skills.

  12. Record of budgeting and spending.

  13. Increases creativity and problem solving.

  14. Keeps you alert.

  15. A condensed record of learning or meetings.

  16. Make 'To Do Lists' as reminders and for satisfaction when ticking off completed tasks.

Did you know there are systems for notetaking?

I wish I had known about these when I was studying! Nowadays, I regularly use Mind Mapping for developing business ideas. Here are four notetaking systems. Which do you use?

Verbatim Notes

This is when you write down everything that is said in the class, meeting or wherever. Using codes or shorthand will be helpful for speed writing. This method is unstructured and risks being incomplete and difficult to understand when being reviewed later.

Informal Outline Notes

This is when you outline the content but with less detail. This method is common with students using textbooks - noting the key theme and links.

The Cornell Method

Step 1

Draw a vertical line approximately 5cm from the left edge of the page, stopping approx 5cm from the bottom. Then draw a horizontal line across the page at that point. The left colum is the Questions Column, the large space on the right is for taking and making your notes and the bottom area is for the summary.

Step 2

After the meeting/learning experience, complete the Questions Column by writing questions and comments about the main points of your notes. This will help with comprehension and retention of the notes. Then summarize the notes in the bottom section in a couple of sentences. This will be a quick reference point for the future.

Mind Mapping

This method uses association and imagination and is great for people who respond better to visual stimulations. It involves a central picture being drawn (doodles are great) to represent the key topic. Branches are then drawn, in different colours, from the central picture to represent different things associated with it. A picture is drawn at the end of each branch and so the map expands.

A great tip for keeping your notebooks organized is to date or number the pages!

I keep lots of notebooks. I always have one in my handbag to write down any ideas/reminders when I'm on the go. I keep another notebook solely for writing down my gratitude on a daily basis. I have lots of notebooks filled with notes when working with my business coaches or attending events. I keep other notebooks for 'general' scribbles which will include things like my To Do Lists, names of new suppliers, costs of things, shopping lists etc...

I love stationery. I enjoy writing. I love having a beautiful new notebook to write in.

Gateway Art Sales has a beautiful selection of A5, spiralbound notebooks for sale which feature some of the popular designs from our art collections.

Written by Jenny Hunt

Founding Partner & CEO, Gateway Art Sales LLC & FORBES' Top 100 Most Influential Women In The Middle East



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