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  1. Lesson One - Pre-reading

    The Power of Prereading - Part One
  2. The Power of Prereading - Part Two
  3. The Power of Prereading - Part Three
  4. The Power of Prereading - Part Four
  5. The Power of Prereading - Part Five
  6. Lesson Two - Single Tasking
    Single Tasking - Part One
  7. Single Tasking - Part Two
  8. Single Tasking - Part Three
  9. Single Tasking - Part Four
  10. Single Tasking - Part Five
  11. Lesson Three - Recognition and Recall
    Recognition and Recall - Part One
  12. Recognition and Recall - Part Two
  13. Recognition and Recall - Part Three
  14. Recognition and Recall - Part Four
  15. Recognition and Recall - Part Five
  16. Lesson Four - Question Logging
    Question Logging - Part One
  17. Question Logging - Part Two
  18. Question Logging - Part Three
  19. Question Logging - Part Five
  20. Question Logging - Part Four
  21. Lesson Five - The Testing Effect
    The Testing Effect - Part One
  22. The Testing Effect - Part Two
  23. The Testing Effect - Part Three
  24. The Testing Effect - Part Four
  25. The Testing Effect - Part Five
  26. Lesson Six - Taking Notes
    Taking Notes - Part One
  27. Taking Notes - Part Two
  28. Taking Notes - Part Three
  29. Lesson Seven - Foundational Learning
    Foundational Learning - Part One
  30. Foundational Learning - Part Two
  31. Foundational Learning - Part Three
  32. Foundational Learning - Part Four
  33. Foundational Learning - Part Five
  34. Lesson eight - Deep Learning
    Deep Learning - Part One
  35. Deep Learning - Part Two
  36. Deep Learning - Part Three
  37. Deep Learning - Part Four
  38. Deep Learning - Part Five
  39. Lesson nine - High Yield Learning
    High Yield Learning - Part One
  40. High Yield Learning - Part Two
  41. High Yield Learning - Part Three
  42. High Yield Learning - Part Four
  43. High Yield Learning - Part Five
  44. Lesson ten - The Testing Effect
    The Testing Effect - Part One
  45. The Testing Effect - Part Two
  46. The Testing Effect - Part Three
  47. The Testing Effect - Part Four
  48. The Testing Effect - Part Five
  49. Lesson eleven - active and passive learning
    Active and Passive Learning - Part One
  50. Active and Passive Learning - Part Two
  51. Active and Passive Learning - Part Three
  52. Active and Passive Learning - Part Four
  53. Active and Passive Learning - Part Five
  54. Lesson twelve - Study Blocking
    Study Blocking - Part One
  55. Study Blocking - Part Two
  56. Study Blocking - Part Three
  57. Study Blocking - Part Four
  58. Study Blocking - Part Five
  59. Lesson thirteen - Linking
    Linking - Part One
  60. Linking - Part Two
  61. Linking - Part Three
  62. Linking - Part Four
  63. Linking - Part Five
  64. Lesson fourteen - Interleaving
    Interleaving - Part One
  65. Interleaving - Part Two
  66. Interleaving - Part Three
  67. Interleaving - Part Four
  68. Interleaving - Part Five
  69. Lessons fifteen - Application Questioning
    Application Questioning - Part One
  70. Application Questioning - Part Two
  71. Copy of Application Questioning - Part Three
  72. Application Questioning - Part Four
  73. Application Questioning - Part Five
  74. Lesson Sixteen - Using Tables
    Tables - Part One
  75. Tables - Part Two
  76. Tables - Part Three
  77. Tables - Part Four
  78. Tables - Part Five
Lesson 28 of 78
In Progress

Taking Notes – Part Three

Stoicable July 10, 2022


Taking Notes


When we understand how to take notes the right way and the reason behind taking those notes, then notetaking becomes another effective and necessary learning technique.

We take too many notes. If you only take away one thing from this lesson, let it be to take fewer notes.

Notes aren’t free. When taking notes, your attention is lost from the speaker, and you lose a part of what they’re saying. This is why keeping notes to a minimum when you are first learning a concept is ideal. You want to be able to follow the entire story of the speaker uninterrupted.

Write your notes for the future you.

Your learning might make sense now, but what about in six weeks? If you’re writing notes you plan on reading again, write them for your future self. They will thank you for it.

When it comes to revising, speed is the key. If you want to revise everything – read your textbook. It does a far better job than your notes. But that doesn’t matter because you’re not competing against the textbook. 

The purpose of taking notes is different from your textbook. A textbook is designed to learn from. Your notes should be designed to remember from.

Your notes need to be so clear that you don’t need to re-read them to understand.

Here are some ways to do this

  • Use dot points – They keep your notes to the point while ensuring you only focus on a single idea at a time.
  • Short sentences – Get rid of everything you don’t need. It will only slow you down and complicate your understanding.
  • Simple language – your notes are for revising, not deciphering meaning. Keep them simple to save your future self having to put on a detective hat and pull out a magnifying glass.

Here’s a Recap.

  • Facts are small pieces of information.
  • Concepts are the big ideas.

Concepts provide a framework to attach your facts too. Without this framework, facts are just random pieces of information. It’s the concepts that make it possible for you to learn all the facts to need to.

Every piece of information you write down requires a present and future effort. Don’t waste this effort and time on useless information.

Meaningful learning demands that you guard your time. Whatever it is, be sure to ask – is this useful – before committing yourself. It’s not how much you know but what you know. Information is useless; it’s the content that’s valuable.

Always pause before taking notes. Ask yourself: Is this useful?

Make sure your notes are yours. They must be in your words and written using your voice.

When you write your notes in your own words, you package the information into a memorable form. If you skip this step, all you end up doing is copying information instead of learning it. Since your brain isn’t a computer, the copy will only exist on the page instead of in your memory.

Lesson Cards

Taking Notes

Card 1

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Key Idea

Are you writing notes for your current self or your future self? Before you write down any notes, ask yourself if this will make sense one month from now.

Card 2

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Key Idea

Your notes should provide you with a clear summary for rapid revision. The detail is for the textbook, not your notes.

Card 3

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Key Idea

Your key points within your notes should be finding you, not you finding them.

Card 4

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Key Idea

If you take notes on everything, you will remember nothing.

Card 5

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Key Idea

Every useless word you include in your notes is another distraction. Ruthlessly cut this dead weight from your notes

Card 6

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Key Idea

“If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” -Albert Einstein

Card 7

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Key Idea

Concepts provide a framework to build your facts on top of. Without this framework, facts are just random pieces of information.

Card 8

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Key Idea

All knowledge isn’t equal. Don’t waste your time on low-quality information.


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