There are several methods of note taking you can use, so give them a try and see what you like best! Not all note taking methods are appropriate for all situations, so be sure you are using the most appropriate method for the content. Regardless of which style you use in your notes, here are a few tips:
The Outline Method:
This is probably the best known method of taking notes. In this method, topics and sub-topics are identified by indenting and numbering or using a bullet point to set off new ideas.
The Cornell Method:
For this method, divide your paper into three sections: a 2.5" section on the left side, a 6" section on the right side, and a 2" section at the bottom. During class, take notes in the 6" section on the right. After class, write the main points in the left section, even with the corresponding notes so you can find each section or point easily. After class, use the bottom section to summarize the main ideas and highlight them. Click Here for a full explanation.
The Mapping Method:
This method is great when there are relationships between the topics in your notes. In this method, you organize your notes by dividing them into different branches. Write the main topic at the top or middle of the map. If you write the main topic at the top, you can divide the sub-topics as you move down the paper. If you write the main topic in the middle, surround it with sub-topics. You can then further divide your sub-topics.
This method is especially good for electronic note-taking, such as taking notes on an i-Pad. Notes for different topics are placed in separate boxes, which can be rearranged and re-sized once you are finished. It is also helpful if your class or lecture is broken up into different sections.
The Charting Method:
This note-taking method is great for facts and statistics. The information is organized in rows and columns for comparable data. This method takes time, so it might be effective when you are re-writing your notes.