Wondering what are the reasons and benefits for note-taking? This article supports the benefits of note-taking with a research reference (Kim & Tan & Winkelmes 2013). Following are the ones that I can come out with. Hopefully, you will agree and start taking notes with logical understanding.
Possible reasons and benefits of notes taking:
- Record of our learning or any useful information
- Review purposes for memory or understanding
- Inspire self and others
- Concentration and infusing your own style and ideas
- Create your own little world of words, drawings & images and even sound or videos with modern notes 🐱 🎆 👏
- Create a temporary todos list or reminders for action and checking off
- Extend and continuation from previous learnings and ideas
- Transfer from notes to continue writing an article, research or a book with ease
- To construct a reference for comparisons such as strengths and weaknesses evaluation and a basis for further developments
- To organize
- As a goal to develop a more subjective and logical thinking mindset
- Share or collaborate with others for creating something of value
Define you note purpose first:
- <li>To make a summary?
- For art appreciation?
- Getting better grades?
- To help you concentrate? Research or blogging?
- Records of financial expenditures?
- Writing for a business or monetisation?
There are different types of medium or apps for each purpose. It is better a person should have a structured and clear direction towards a specific goal before and for taking notes rather than random scribblings going nowhere.
Following has examples and exercises for readers.
General Purpose: Record of our learning or any useful information
We may remember an idea or two at a particular time in our life. But can we recollect and reference back tens, hundreds and thousands of points we had over the years and decades? This is not about recording our deeds for bragging sake, but for our own reflection and our undertakings’ references.
Forexample, we decided on a non-fiction book title for writing; We want to provide as much surprisingly helpful information as we can for our readers’ benefit, so we ponder & conjecture & assume an educated standpoint based on research facts, we record our experiences and details learned in the process as notes, organises for re-writing and proofreading before publishing.
The other benefit of the information recording and learning note-taking habit is for the assistance of those who are losing their memory and understanding over time, including some elderly population. Read this news about how this woman fought dementia with note-taking, at least the effects to some degree.
I would recommend any good note-taking app such as Evernote for any general notes purpose. It can be used for most or all above reasons above. Another alternative is Google Keep for simpler and Zoho Notes that looks colorful but both has lesser features. It can be used for studying, records, reviewing, todos, book writing, evaluation, help to analyze a topic logically and sharing for others. You may even take notes to help yourself evaluate if a relationship is working out or not, you may see things more clearly when you take notes and look for signs or evidence that you usually ignore or trivialized. It is my humble opinion that it is entirely possible anyone can be his own mental therapist and educate himself by taking objective notes about himself, his relationships and situation independently without bias or prejudice, then review and evaluate what and how he can react or do better.
For studying: Review purposes for memory or understanding
Know that getting better grades or results depends on our grasp of understanding tested concepts, not how well the notes are written ultimately. So focus on understanding, and notes only as a tool to help. Even if no single word is written, you will still be the only one to pass a fair test if you are the only person who understood the lecture taught. That said, we can use notes taking to record and focus provided the hand movements do not distract us. I recommend only notes taking when there is a pause, break or end of the session. Notes do not have to be excessively decorated or delineated, they just have to be neat enough to convey the meanings effectively. They can be made special to keep you interested but it should be about the points taken, not the appearance. Remember the goal is to study, not make colorful distracting notes, so I would advise caution when viewing videos that tell you specifically how some people make their notes pretty. Just do not get carried away from understanding the teachings.
You may also write your notes on paper and take a photo image and attach into Evernote that can be searched for text within the image. If you want to take your notes with LaTeX (Maths rendering) or UML diagrams, then you may do so in a good markdown editor such as Typora (Mac app) or StackEdit.com or Visual Studio Code app. Please read Markdown Editors For Note-taking for more.
Inspire self and others
We sometimes may write short inspirational notes that we find beautiful and meaningful. They may take the form of poetry, haiku, drawing, and meaningful comparison and idea or a question on the unfairness or prejudice of society that compels people to rethink the way they live their life. Inspiring notes may promote selflessness, filial piety, positive art, beauty, love, compassion, peace, veganism, fight against global warming and animal cruelty, support for truth and equality. Base on these simple notes, we can find inspiration for ideas and writings and share with others in the hope of doing our part for a better world.
Concentration and infusing your own style and ideas
We should concentrate on understanding first of all. Thereafter we take notes and look at our own notes, we direct our attention to the notes or may continue from where we left off. When we put in effort into concentration on understanding a topic, it will reflect in the quality of the notes ideas. We can opt to take time to deliberately use a different approach to take a note or spin-offs with a modified version after some thoughts. Putting in a different style such as writing a children book or drawing a picture book can all be done creatively giving a different experience to the readers.
For example, there are many Sherlock Holmes stories by the original author. But Sherlock Holmes movies and TV series may make the stories more explosive with intense action-packed scenes and special effects or modified with adaptation to modern interpretations and applications. Not all spin-offs are successful as it also depends on the quality of content i.e. the script/note idea.
="wp-block-heading">Create your own little world of words, drawings & images and even sound or videos with modern notes
Modern notes can be very different in content, style and even purpose from traditional ones. Notes can now include digital text, reminders, bookmarks, images, audio, videos, drawings, diagrams and even Maths rendering. Note-takers may use video blogging to take short clips and upload to their vlog. We can also make codes notations and for decoding, create the table of elements for learning or attach a screenshot of your map location to add details for your story or notes.
Create a temporary todos list or reminders for action and checking off
This is more common as our life has more choices and options and we need to keep track of the many stuffs we need to do. And some note-taking apps such as Evernote has a reminder option to help you hit the target. In Evernote Mac app, click the 3 dots on top right hand corner and click Add Reminder…
Extend and continuation from previous learnings and ideas
This is a very useful or powerful way of learning or working. With notes and writings, you can continue off where you left off easily just like continuing from a story where you bookmarked. If you have a good idea, then you may extend to a few more from it and be creatively different from others. If you offer a different service or product that others need or want, then you may have a lucrative business. For example, a big coffee franchise offers expensive premium coffee at pleasant surrounding. But you may offer a healthier version (a study finds more coffee could cause migraine) by selling matcha or green tea at a more affordable price with a simple tea truck table stand near a school and residential park that appeals to the health-conscious, students and elderly folks.
Transfer from notes to continue writing an article, research or a book with ease
Any article or book starts from an idea. When we collect enough good ideas and present it in a language or style suitable to our readers, we can have a good article or book. We can easily focus on one concept at one time, and when we record numerous we have a collection that we may name with a title. Notes may be indispensable to undertaking big or huge projects such as thesis and inspirational or informative blogs like this one. Some may be able to write a book from start to end without research or notes, but I think it makes sense many including prolific writers may do some sort of research and take idea notes before writing the final version for publication. Some may prefer writing from a blank page and see where their inspirations and mood takes them, while others may make a meticulous plan about every chapter and its details in points before even starting to write a single full sentence on the final draft. Keep taking notes or writing away and you should know yourself better through experience which works better for you.