Note-taking was one of the most difficult tasks of my academic years. My thoughts were never organized, which resulted in a mess of words. Notes from texts ended up being lengthy and almost a duplicate of the text. Notes from lectures, missed out on important points as I battled to keep the page organized, write, listen and understand. This was just one of those things I was really bad at. Classmates had neat and organized notes, while I struggled to find a method that worked for me.
I didn’t find one until after school was over and done with. Enter the Cornell Note-Taking System. It’s so painless and easy that I can’t figure out why I hadn’t thought of it on my own. Instead of spending my note-taking time trying to figure out how to set the page up, I could have focused on the actual notes.
I am currently trying to get my children to use this system. Even the 10 yr old. I introduced it today, and they looked thrilled. As I lectured about Augustus Caesar, I could see the stress on their faces as they quickly (and some not so quickly) scribbled notes. The lines were too close together. The information scattered. There was no room to go back and insert a thought. And when all was done, there was a page full of writing. Now what?
Once they saw the setup of the Cornell method, I saw relief wash over them. This was going to make things a little easier. If you’re not familiar with the method, take a look here & here. Simple stuff, right? Like, why didn’t I think of that?
We don’t usually use textbooks, so gleaning the important information from the books we use and producing a complete and comprehensible notebook is important. There’s just so much information in our readings.