Tutorial: how to make organized notes.
- Read the objectives of the lecture. If there aren’t any, flip through the lecture slides and make an outline. This puts into perspective what you need to be learning and what you should get out of this lecture.
- Skim the book to get familiar with how the information is divided compared to your outline or objectives. While doing this, you’ll figure out whether or not you need the extra details from the book. Sometimes the lecture is enough and you could keep the textbook just as a reference to things you don’t get.
- Write down the first objective and flip to the page in the book that has the information pertaining to that objective. Read the lecture slide then refer to the book for details.
- Combine your lecture notes with the textbook information. Do this by rewriting the information in your own words and try to be as concise as possible.
- Keep doing this for every objective. Paste things if it helps.
- Make sure that you’re not just copying information. Use visual aids as much as possible. Put the information in a table, flowchart, diagram, etc.. (refer to this post to see how I make my flowcharts).
- When you’re done with all your objectives, go through the lecture and your notes to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
General tips on how to keep them organized:
- Be systemic. Making objective-oriented notes is one way to do that.
- Use two (or more colors). Color-coding information helps me remember it + it doesn’t look that bad.
- Section your objectives according to the topic. Then make sure that when you’re writing out the information, it’s in a sequence that’s understandable.
Disclaimer: this is the way I’ve been making my notes since I started med school. By no means am I claiming it’s perfect or that everybody should follow it.
Hope this helps and as always, happy studying :)