Taking Notes


I have been researching heavily different methods I can go about to take notes in lectures. Some of them include:


Mindmapping - eg. mindmanager, freemind. I like this method very much as it allows structured notes and you don’t have to fiddle with formatting rather just sibling, parent and child nodes.

Outliners - eg. Microsoft Word Outliner view, any hierarchical notepad software.

Ordinary documents - Standard word documents just seem a cluttered and unorganised way, but I know most people will be resorting to this.

Read lecturer notes - Most unis have lectures notes online which you can follow along while the lecturer is covering it


Tape- Audio tape to record the lectures and then attempt to write or summarise after or not. I KNOW that I won’t summarise, i just am too lazy and most people are exactly like me. I can see myself listening through the lectures after class on my mp3 player though.

Tape and Notes - Sounds probably like a good option.


Normal Notes - Organised into outline form with general headings and topics and text. I’ve been doing this my whole school life and have yet to look through my exercise book when studying for my exams. They are usually dumped as they are too messy.

Mindmaps - I can only imagine how useful this is, because I haven’t read anything about being drawing hand maps in class when summarising notes and I don’t know how efficient it would be. It would require an A3 paper for each lecture without lines to have enough space to store the main conceps of a lecture. I can imagine the A3 pages (which would be thick since they’d be in a visual diary) would be great to look through to discover main ideas and concepts. I could then read more into any particulary concepts with lecture notes, but I can imagine it will be much more useful than those normal notes i take in exercise books and never ever read through.

3 times as fast text entry for a good typer.
Ability to layout mindmaps instantly and efficiently
Always new and innovative software solutions can be found.
With a small tablet on the side, or a tablet pc [and some good software] you could enter any text or diagrams you like.

Very Very distracting
I don’t like staring at computer screens anymore than I’m supposed to.
Notes could sit in an endless filesystem of documents which you’ll never look through again.


  1. Mindmapping on paper sounds promising
    It would force me only to take the most important information.
    It would be easy to access and friendly to read than normal notes.
    Can handle small lecture desks as I could use a visual diary to keep paper rigid
    Large writing surface (A3) to give you more freedom to explore, draw, and link notes.
    Although could get messy

2.Probably mindmapping on computer although the range of softwares could confuse. They all have slightly different focuses

So I would like some of your guys recommendations on how you would take notes, or how you do take notes at lectures.

Tablet PC. Use Microsoft Notebook, works just like a regular ruled notebook but you put in sections, etc…can draw and on the fly put in audio which you can record directly from the programs interface. Then you’re free to do whatever you want with it, all of the info is there from hand notes to links, to audio clips.