04 Sep, 2019
Try taking notes in different colored pens or using highlighters after you've taken notes. Some students use a different color for facts, issue, holding, procedure, rationale, and rule. Others use different colors for notes in class and notes on reading assignments. You can also use different colors for each class. Having things easily distinguishable by color will come in handy when it comes time to create your outlines.
Studies show that taking notes the old fashioned way - that is, by paper and pen (or pencil) is the most effective way to learn. At first blush, it might seem crazy to have to take down so much information by hand. But the inherent limitations of note-taking by hand also present an advantage: you’re forced to only write what’s important. The other obvious benefit is that taking notes by hand eliminates the need for a laptop, so you’re freeing yourself from distractions and turning yourself into a more active learner.
One law school student shared that they created folders for each class, then subfolders for class notes, reading notes, (outlines, tutoring materials, and any other useful folders. Notes should be saved so you can clearly identify the chapter and/or topic they refer to. And some note-taking programs, like Microsoft OneNote, have built-in organizing systems that you should take advantage of. Later, you can always print all your notes and create binders with indexes to study from.
Ask your fellow classmates how they organize their notes, but take only what will work for you. It's great to find new ways to organize your notes, but make sure that it's a system that is sustainable and makes sense to you. Once you’ve figured out what works, commit to it. Also, remember it's okay to try something out and find out it doesn't work. That's how you'll find an organizing system that does work.
Critical Pass Team
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