Tips & tricks
Writing clear notes during class is essential for any student. Learn the best way to write effective study notes + all the tools you need. Here’s 5 tips.

How to Write Effective Study Notes - 5 Tips

Writing clear notes during class is essential for any student. Learn the best way to write effective study notes + all the tools you need. Here’s 5 tips.

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Taking notes effectively is not as simple as one might think. It’s easy to find yourself frantically trying to jot down every word the teacher says - the result too often being a tangled mess of hard to decipher scribbles. Plus, do you actually remember what the teacher said during the lesson, or were you too focused on your notes?

There are various techniques that can help you structure your notes. These techniques will allow you to absorb the information at the same time as you’re making notes during class.

5 Ways to Improve Your Notes

  • Clear Headings - Headings help your brain get a quick and clear picture of the main sections covered during the lecture or lesson. Got some extra time? Unleash your creativity and make some fun headings! Get some inspiration from our lettering friend @fialottajanssondesign - check out this video of her lettering the weekdays. Don’t miss the printable practise sheets here, too!

  • Bullet Points – It may feel simpler to just write out the entire sentence as the teacher says it, but you’ll thank yourself later if you break up the information into pithy phrases instead. It will be so much easier to scan your notes later, promise!

  • Use Abbreviations - Keep your bullet points and notes as short as possible and abbreviate where you can. For example, you can use abbreviations like ‘&’ instead of ‘and’, or abbreviate words and write ‘bact’ instead of ‘bacteria’ every time your biology teacher says the word. It will save you both time and energy, and you’ll get a better overall picture.

  • Work with Colors – Studies have shown that colors help our brain remember better. For example, you can use different color pens to make important words stand out, or highlight them with a highlighter.


  • Use Images - Whether diagrams, flowcharts, or fancy doodles are your thing, using visuals will help your brain remember information better. Need to be extra speedy with those visuals? Try adding a sticker or two for an instant design pop in your notes!

Why Should You Take Notes?

Many teachers will give handouts for their lecture or class. So why should you bother taking notes at all? When you write notes while listening, you become more alert, as you need to engage with the information being presented.

Note taking also helps you focus your attention on the lecture or discussion. You’ll be an active participant in the learning process, rather than a passive listener. All this will help you understand the topic better, as well as helping your brain retain more of the information.

Taking notes also helps you organize and structure the information in your own way. Even if you use these note taking techniques, your notes will be unique to you and adapted to how you learn best.

Aside from note taking techniques, there’s also many effective study techniques. Read more about 5 great study techniques and how to study smarter - not harder.

Note Taking in Your Planner

When designing your planner, you’ll soon discover the many customization options suitable for your life as a student. For example, you’ll get to pick your weekly layout, timetable, monthly overview, as well as a range of themed student pages.

Struggling to make all those choices or just looking for a ready made planner for students? Check out our very own Student Planner where we’ve picked all the best academic customization options for you already!


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