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College Note Taking Tips

College Note Taking Tips

Good note-taking skills are important for any student. After all, there is no way you can avoid doing this while in college. And, in fact, if you have your notes organized, you facilitate your study process a whole lot and get better prepared for tests and exams! Continue reading to learn what you can do to improve your note-taking routine in college.

Note Taking Routine Tips for College Students


Many students deem that rewriting the notes is a simple time waste. Actually, it is not. Whenever you try rewriting your notes, you make them look more structured and organized and assist yourself in better retaining necessary information. Rewriting is essential, but only if you do it properly. Here are the steps you should take:

  • Write your notes during the lectures. Be sure to write everything your professor says will be on the test and also everything written on the slides.
  • After the lecture, compare your notes with the textbook. See if there is any essential information missed or anything you didn’t understand well enough.
  • Create new notes. Include all the missing information from the textbook and add all the necessary definitions and diagrams you couldn’t include during the lecture. Be sure to add more colors to your notes to help your brain better perceive the information.

If you do all of these, you’ll certainly memorize the material better, grasp the essential meaning of everything and better prepare for the exam.

Use Headings and Bullets

When you’re taking notes, it’s also important to organize them. For that, you should use headings and bullets. Use capital letters for major topics. Take pens with brighter colors to provide differentiation to subheadings and minor topics. Use bullet points to better summarize the information. For your own convenience, you can use different bullets to state different kinds of facts. For example, circle bullets might work for dates, lines – for descriptions, arrows – for definitions, etc.


You can do this through adding colors and decorating your notes. If you highlight some words or phrases with different colors, you can find them more easily afterwards. Again, you can create your own system and use certain colors to highlight certain things. For instance, you can use pink color for formulas, yellow – for vocabulary words, blue – for main facts, and orange – for all other categories.

Other ways you can use to emphasize something in your notes are hand lettering for subtopics and quotes, doodling, using banners for headings and making borders for main facts. But, don’t overdo. If you highlight everything, nothing will actually be highlighted. Emphasize only the things that really need to be emphasized, and in this case, you will certainly benefit from that.

These tips will definitely help you better organize your notes and make them look much prettier. Take them into consideration, adapt them so that they work for you and use them for your own benefit!

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