How to Take Better Notes: The 6 Best Note-Taking Systems 2022

Are you at that stage in college where you just have to take better notes? Are you looking for the best Note-taking systems and techniques to make college life easier?

Do you want to know if there is a lazy way out for note-taking?

Aside from the Best Note-taking Apps For Students, and the Top 10 Writing Apps For College Students, note-taking have systems.

Most times these above digital note-taking apps will be of no help if you don’t know the best way to go about it.

Over the years, Rocketbook Everlast has proven to help students take better notes, but using the best systems in Note-taking is actually what makes that possible.

You might not have seen it necessary to take better notes in high school, but now you’re going off to college it’s very necessary.

And to that regard, you need to upgrade your writing kit. While you’re getting your writing kit ready, you need to get informed about the best Note-taking systems.

In this guide, we’ll get you informed on the best Note-taking systems you can adopt to make this journey easy for you.

Also, we will talk about how you can prepare yourself to take good notes in class.

By the end of this piece, you will become familiar with the best ways to take notes in class.

This is a hack most college students do not know about.

Sit tight and get informed!!!

how to take better notes

Also Read: How to be Successful in College in 2022

Why Should I Take Better Notes?

Note-taking is an age-long tradition in the education system. It’s one of the things that make you a student.

That’s why from kindergarten to high school students are encouraged to write and make notes.

Notes are for reference purposes. 

Taking better notes is essential so that students can always have something to look at for reading, recalling and understanding what was taught in class.

A haggard writing or half information is enough to leave you confused after each class.

That’s the essence of taking notes better. But to do that, you need to utilize any of the best note-taking techniques.

Keep reading for more details.

How Do I Prepare To Take Good Notes in Class?

The first ideal step in taking better notes in class is preparation. 

Imagine going to class without a pen and a book or even a Note-taking app, how do you intend to take notes?

So below are some of the preparation tips that will help you make better notes as a college student.

#1. Prepare Well Before You Get to Class

  • Skim through all pre-assigned reading or familiarize yourself with the topic before you get to class. This will help you know what to expect.
  • Pack all you need to learn effectively. Multiple pencils, notebook, pens, highlighters, sticky notes, your textbook, and your laptop.
  • Gran a can of water to keep you hydrated.
  • Also, grab along a snack, it helps feel full for longer, ensuring that you won’t be distracted by hunger. 

#2. Have A Note-taking Mindset

Preparation is just a step in taking better notes. To take better notes, you need to have a note-taking mindset. 

What this means is that you need to grab your brain along when going to class. 

A positive attitude and a good mood is a great combination for learning.

And when it comes to note-taking, both are needful.

Once you have these two combinations before a class commences, you’re set to take better notes.

Now here are the 6 best Note-taking techniques we have discovered from research that has helped college students.

Also Read: Tips for students to be successful

The 6 Best Note-Taking Systems To Help You Take Better Notes.

Now you’re ready to jot your notes down, let’s discuss some techniques in Note-taking that will help you achieve more.

Keep in mind that each system is unique and slightly different from the other.

Also, before making a choice of technique, keep in mind that you have to consider how best you learn and the subject you want to take note of.

Some systems work better in some courses.

However, as a beginner, you can experiment with different techniques to find one that works for you.

Now here are the best note-taking systems;

#1. Structured: The Outline

A structured note-taking system allows you to make bullet points of what was covered in class. 

Under each major bullet point, you will write some more in-depth sub-points about each topic as the professor covers them.

This Note-taking system favours students who love simplicity. It is easy and one of the most popular Note-taking systems.

However, many do not like this system of taking notes because it can make you leave enough space on each page so that you have plenty of room for all your sub-points. 

#2. For Review: The Cornell Method

The Cornell Method of taking notes is best for students who want to get the most out of their review time.

How to take better notes using Cornell Method is by dividing your paper into three sections:

  • Notes
  • Cues
  • Summary.

The note section is where you write your notes in class. There is no structure, you write as you grab.

From your note section, form a better note on the cues section. This can be done during or directly after class. 

It’s in the cues section that you fill out the main points, people, or potential test questions.

At the point you’re reviewing your note, you can write your summary section. Here you will summarize the entire lecture.

Both the cue and summary sections must be as simple as possible.

Also Read: How To Comment on Flipgrid: Every Method for Students and Teachers! 2022

#3. In Depth: The Mind Map

Students can take better notes using the mind map note-taking system.

A mind map is a note-taking system that suits only certain subjects such as chemistry, history, and philosophy.

This technique is ideal if you want to write on how certain topics relate, or to go in-depth with one particular idea.

Smaller sub-concepts, dates, formulas, supporting facts, and related concepts are very pivotal in the mind map system.

#4. Holistic: Flow Notes

For me, I say this Note-taking technique is for “serious students’ ‘.

All they are focused on is maximizing the learning time. Keep note of each point, flow diagram, topics, drawings, arrows, doodles and graphs.

Although this may be good, students who use this are more like a lecture-transcribing machine. Ideal for people who hate rules.

However, reviewing is quite difficult for such users. 

#5. Easy: Writing on Slides

I’ll be very honest, the writing on slide note-taking technique is the lazy students’ note-taking system.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s super effective and very easy. All you have to do is to print the lecturers’ slides.

What better way to make better notes!!!

Mr professor already did the note-taking job for you. The work you will do is take note of key points and concepts in the slide.

However, this technique is only possible if you have access to the lecturer’s slide. Else you will have to adopt any other of the best Note-taking systems.

#6. Visual: Bullet Journaling

The last in our list of best note-taking techniques is bullet journaling.

Students who love aesthetics and doodle find this very interesting. Also, this is the best method for visual learners.

How does this technique work?

Simply write in your bullet journal, then turn a blank page into a beautiful representation of your thought process.

You can draw on one page and write on another. All have to be in touch with the topic concept.

Although this method is super cool for visual learners, it has many drawbacks. 

Literally, it can be difficult to take notes quickly because you’re ensuring your journal is organized and attractive.

If you’re going to keep pace with Mr Professor, this is not the ideal note-taking system.

You can use this technique when you’re reviewing or summarizing your coursework.

Also Read: How to Study for Tests – Learn how to pass any test

Can I Use My Computer to Take Notes?

Absolutely, you can use your computer to take notes in the classroom as long as a computer is allowed in class.

But it’s not ideal if you want to get the best out of your lecture time without distractions.

In fact, it’s been under debate if students can use their laptops to take notes. 

The universally accepted answer is No.

If you want the best of both worlds, you can get Rocketbook Everlast: a digital and physical note-taking note.

How Can I Get the Most Out of My Notes?

Classes are over and now you have your notes, how do you get the most out of your notes? 

There is no other strategy to get the most out of your post than to Review it many times over.

Here’s how to review your notes;

#1. Review your notes within the first 24 hours after your lecture. 

Reviewing your notes within the first 24 hours after your lecture is very important as it’s the first step to retaining the information you form from class.

This action has proven over the years to help the students’ brains cement everything they heard and learned in class.

Familiarization is key to retention.

Just like Sally puts it “Reading after class helps the information not to fall out of my head”

#2. Review Small Portions Of Your Notes Everyday.

To get the best out of your notes is to constantly review your notes every day. To take better notes is great, but reviewing it every day helps you in understanding.

Reviewing your notes every day will help you come to terms with the note content. This will help you not two cram before your test.

#3. Review Over a Long Period of Time.

The last way to get the best out of your notes is to keep reviewing your notes over a longer period of time.

This will broaden your knowledge about the topic as well as prepare you for tests and exams.

Above that, reviewing over a long period ensures that what you’ve learned will be retained, and also improves your ability to recall when the information is needed.

Also Read: How to Change Zoom Background on Chromebook for Students 2022

How Do I Know Possible Exam Questions While Taking Notes?

Every student wants a way out during exams and tests. One of the loopholes students lookouts for is possible exam questions.

Most teachers are stingy in giving out such information. However, there is a trick to knowing the possible exam question.

While you’re taking notes or doing assigned reading or research, look out for repetition. 

If your professor keeps repeating a particular concept many times over, chances are that it will be on the test.

Therefore, to know the possible exam question, keep an open ear and eye on the concept repetition made by the professor.

Once you note that, circle it, underline it and make a note for yourself. Keep an eye out for repetition.


Note-taking is an age-long tradition in the history of education and the fact is it may never go out of style.

However, using the latest note-taking techniques you can take or make better notes in the classroom.

However, keep in mind that note-taking is a skill and everyone has peculiar educational adaptability.

Therefore, the best technique to adopt in note-taking will be unique to each student. 

Go through this piece again and find out one or more of the best Note-taking systems that suit your learning.

If you found this piece enlightening, please leave a comment in the comment section below!!!

Stick around our blog and stay informed!!!


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