More Fun Activities For Note-taking

I am exploring what are more fun activities for note-taking, in continuation of Top 9 Fun Activities For Note-Taking. Students and adults alike are naturally drawn to certain activities with elements of fun and joy, including the choice in the way we take notes that do not have to be monotonous. It is the hope of the author that we can incorporate positive and encouraging educational aids into our everyday life so we can approach learning in an independently enjoyable and proactive manner.

More fun activities for note-taking:

  1. 5 group notes
  2. Note-taking project
  3. NaNoWriMo
  4. Programming 
  5. Songs
  6. Notes gamification
  7. Freestyle session
  8. Stamps

Entire industries are created based on fun and entertainment such as movies and PlayStation games. However, good educational resources or genre of positive influences are far less in comparison. However, note-takers can choose to employ creative approaches to have a fun and enjoyable experience.

5 groups notes

Divide the notes into 5 groups for a game: Examples group, contrary and alternatives group, logical deduction group, statistics & graphical group, and associative group. Each group may be assigned a different color for easy identification and categorization. All notes are marked with a running number.

Groups:

  • Blue – Logical deduction notes. This is the main group marked with a straightforward understanding. It is even possible only blue notes are taken.
  • Green – Examples notes. This also includes applications and uses. These notes can be one of the most important for quick understanding and potential benefits.
  • Red – Contrary and alternatives notes. Opposing views and various perspectives can all into this group. For example in story-telling, the inclusion of a villain in a story can be a game-changer.
  • Yellow – Statistics and graphical notes. This can also include tables and factual observation for strong evidence supports.
  • White – Associative notes e.g. base on mind palace and imagination.  This type of notes can be powerful constructs for memorization.

Read more here:

  1. One Sensible Way To Take Notes Effectively! 
  2. Power Up Your Notes With Mind Mapping (Mind Palace)
  3. Breakthrough With 10+ Creative Note-taking Ideas
  4. More Than 10 Ways For Taking Notes To Memory But Never Stop Improving

Fast Connecting Game:

  • Take all notes for learning for the chapter. Line up all the notes in five colored queues. Review them with understanding.
  • Flash the first note (important to memorize the #1 note to easily start off every time) of a single color, can you connect all the notes in chronological order?
  • If yes, can you remember the pattern of movement from the first note to the last?
  • Rate and grade your performance and strive to improve for a better score or faster completion.

If you are confident you can quickly move through the notes, turn over all the notes face down. Pick a random notecard or ask someone to choose one, and say aloud all the remaining notes while collecting them into a pile.

Bonus: 

  1. Can you move through in reverse from the last note to the first? 
  2. Can you move through fast enough to uncover one color group notes only in few seconds?

Once you are familiar with associating the types of notes with the corresponding colors, you may use a colored highlighter to mark the notes. For digital note-taking apps, both Google Keep and Zoho Notes supports colored notes.

Organize a fun note-taking project for class or groups

The Show Game:

Each chapter is assigned to one note-taking group or individual. Each group may take notes on the chapter base on understanding and creativity. They may include notes that show superior insight, presented in a clear manner that is easily understood or engaging the reader with humor, or with creative drawings or caricatures that illustrate the main points in a memorable way. Each group of 3-5 persons may chip in their own way of contributing to the notes. All may take notes, one may proofread, next one may include drawings and visual elements, another may come up with an innovative theme & notes placements, and the last member may come up with a digital version, create a site with social media reach out. The best project may be the notes that go beyond with innovative and correct explanations of important points and solutions.

For example, by the end of the semester, there are 12 projects placed on 12 easels, and everyone can easily review these chapters displayed. Every project should be to have a clear digital copy (with credits to creators) as a reference for future learning and comparisons. This can be particularly useful if other students can learn from the best projects even years after.

The medium on which notes are taken can be on a whiteboard, a scrapbook, drawing paper or even a digital board.

Possible digital platforms to design the notes project:

  1. Skitch
  2. Canva
  3. Prezi 
  4. GIMP
  5. Blender 3D
  6. Google Jamboard

The note-taking projects can be displayed on a drawing easel, in a class or hall, school board, or school website and Facebook group.

NaNoWriMo

From the notes taken, can you construct a non-fiction book with the aid of NaNo Rebel or NaNoWriMo? (Please read more about NaNoWriMo in How To Take Notes For Writers? Learn From These Tips!) With this goal in mind, it can help to motivate with a purpose and enable your note-taking to be more enjoyable or meaningful. You may begin to perceive and experience your notes from a fresh perspective; Notes may be taken for the benefit of readers as the main concern, and with a more serious intent one may explore for more insight, uses, and applications. Participants should be aware the goal is not to transcribe what was spoken as notes for writing, but to create a new and original literary work from the notes ideas.

The point here is to change our perspective or purpose of note-taking. And we may take notes of a different direction and content.

If a group or class are participating in an encouraging environment to write, the notes taken by every individual can be collected and shown as proof for checks against plagiarism. Naturally, the best book published in terms of quality, creativity, and authentic public rating can be chosen as the winning book for article feature or announcement.

Participating in NaNoWriMo for note-takers can be excellent for training new aspiring writers, final project students, researchers, and cultivating interest & skill in those who are still uncertain.

Although NaNoWriMo targets writing 50,000 words in November, that does not mean we cannot plan meticulously with detailed notes in the months leading up to it. In fact, your chances of success are greatly increased with this preparatory work compared to an inexperienced individual clueless on what to write about. Armed with plentiful notes, you may quickly write down the ideas in your own words with less stumbling and reserve your focus for inspirations and creativity.

You may read more about Evernote and Gingkoapp templates here for your writing purpose.

Programming

Can you select your most promising notes to be implemented in a program? You may even discover new knowledge while coding a solution. One may start with small projects for sharing, for example in CodePen. Learn how to comment on your codes in A Basic Good Coding Practise: How To Comment Codes And Take Notes. Similar to NaNoWriMo, we change the way and purpose we take notes, and in this case, we explore and look out for coding solutions or web applications. This is an implementation example of a Wikipedia Viewer for quick research.

The point is to ask often ourselves when we take notes: 

  1. Can we make a simple program with this? 
  2. Can this program benefit others?

The advantage of the coding implementation of your notes is the opportunity of creative works that can spin-off from the original notes. However, this can only apply to those who are technically inclined to coding. Depending on the individual, programming can be a fun and rewarding activity for note implementation. Please read more under Related Questions if you are new and would like to learn to code.

Songs

Start with listening to an appropriate song or music of your choice. We should not listen to the point of distraction but strike the right balance, perhaps a few minutes into listening before start to take notes. Songs and music may a fun and interesting way to enhance our learning experience.

The point is to get into a relaxing and calm mood to take notes. It makes sense that we will perceive an activity such as note-taking as more fun and enjoyable when we repeatedly associate it with a positive and relaxing experience.

Alternatively, one may start taking notes with songs exercises first before moving on to your topic of study. Please read more in writing exercises of Supercharge With More Than 20 Ways To Take Better Notes.

Notes gamification

Can we apply game elements into our existing notes? Basically, we can introduce 3 aspects:

  1. Points scoring system
  2. Game rules
  3. Leaderboards to encourage improvement
On a side note, did you miss this post?   An Interesting App To Take Notes - LINE Memo/Keep and its benefits

A good example of such an implementation for study reviews is Memrise. Teachers or students can leverage this existing web platform to create a free group e.g. study groups or classes, to encourage among friends or classmates in the leaderboard. Educational boards and other games in Resources may also offer some inspirational ideas. Rewards can be awarded to top scorers.

A study (Gooch, Vasalou, Benton, Khaled 2016) also indicates gamification can motivate students (transitioning from primary to secondary) with dyslexia.

Freestyle session

Have someone read aloud a short story or some academic text in a class or group of students. Tell them to take notes of anything of importance and interest. Compare with everyone’s notes and observe for unique ideas and insights. Accept their differences, encourage, and praise them for their efforts and hard work.

Stamps to make your notes stand out and more

A stamp for each note card or page can add some character and even act as a visual aid for memory. An interesting stamp may even inspire curiosity for the story behind it. A beautiful stamp picture may add some artistic flavor to your note. A relevant stamp may help to form logical associations with your notes’ content, for example, ornithologists and botanists may benefit from identifying and study of various birds and plants stamps and possible associations. Furthermore, numerous stamps can be acquired in one whole package at a reasonable price from Amazon. Stamps are good additions to notes because of their small sizes and rich picture content, plus stamps are usually thoughtfully crafted and suited for the general population, including minors, young children, and elderly philatelists (stamp collectors).

Use stamps to liven up your notes!

An idea to spice up a note-taking activity is to let the class acquire different stamps of interest within their means, and take notes of informational research with possible applications or even come up with a fictional storyline based on that study – a whole new novel just from one stamp picture. 

Another idea is to have each student design their own non-postage stamp as a fun project, and write notes or a paragraph beside their own designs to explain their idea or concept behind and how they created it. It is an artistic project with meaning to encourage students to think and act on a predefined small piece of work they can call their own. Students may just design on paper or software and extra marks can be awarded to those who go the extra mile for learning the art of wood carving and applying his/her design on a block of wood. A series of stampings to form pictures such as a flower design is possible and creative use of rubber or wood stamps. Selected outstanding stamps may even be sent for printing with the possible addition of custom dates.

Alternatively, let students write to Slowly app penpals and collect digital stamps and share their positive experiences behind the various stamps collected (without betraying their confidences or obtain permission to share first).

Students may choose these 3 different ways of taking notes with/without design personalized stamps: Acquire paper stamps for research (classical tradition style), design their stamps (creative entrepreneurial style), and earn digital stamps by writing to penpals of an App (technologically savvy style). The point in writing quality notes is not in their various dispositional styles but more of how much research and surprisingly helpful ideas they presented.

Note-taking apps

With new and emerging note apps, we can explore and experiment with what may not possible or conceived before. They have afforded different ways that can be creatively fun on how to take notes.

Fun activities to explore the potential of notes apps:

  1. Various features of Evernote, including email notes, reminders, audio & dictation, handwriting, and camera notes. Read more in Beginner’s Guide To Taking Notes On Computer
  2. Google docs for collaboration mentioned in Top 17 Ways How To Take Notes For Sharing
  3. Beautiful markdown editors such as Typora; Markdown Editors For Note-taking
  4. Take notes with coding editors such as Visual Studio Code and Atom; How To Use Atom To Take Notes
  5. Specialized and professional notes app such as Jupyter Notebook and Mimo Progress Notes
Simple note-taking example with Jupyter

We may also take notes with a WordPress blog or export our notes from Evernote to a blog e.g. Postach. One may also have fun with note-taking by using other ways that we are unfamiliar with to take notes. Please read Revolutionize With Different Ways To Take Notes for more inspirations.

Conclusion

There are different ways to make note-taking fun, and some are more suited for a group of people. If we can employ some fun activities for group note-taking and others for individuals, we may elevate the effectiveness of note-taking interest to another level. Bear in mind none of these activities are fixed; They can be modified for improvements and according to your needs. It is not just what notes we take, it is how we take them too!

If you are an educator or a teacher who hopes to liven up the class mood and alleviate boredom, you may get creative with your presentation in different ways. You may not follow as this is not for everyone but here is an example of how a male teacher goes the extra mile by wearing make-up to make his English lessons more lively for his students; Find out if it works in this news article.

The key is to test and choose the most suitable methods that we can connect with and beyond. 

Have fun with note-taking!

Have fun and be kind to others!

Related Questions

How to take notes with numbers calculation?

If your notes involve some text and numbers for calculation, CalcNote android app claims to work like a simpler spreadsheet. This can be an interesting approach to take notes in a different way depending on the subject. Or simply take notes with Google spreadsheet, separating the text in one column and the result in the next as in Notepad Calculator

Is there a game to improve one’s mathematical calculation skills?

Please take a look at this mobile calculator game app. This can be beneficial as daily arithmetic exercises for the young, adults, and the elderlies. This study (Castellar, Looy, Szmalac, Marez 2013) asserts that arithmetic games can benefit learning. Furthermore, another study (Castellar, Looy, Marez, All 2014) points with evidence that the arithmetic gameplay is superior in the digital medium as compared to paper for cognitive learning.

Are there any games or apps to learn languages?

Even though most games or apps are more geared towards the basics, but they can be a push to start the learning interest in languages.

  • For example, browse the Steam store for some games on learning Japanese
  • Mindsnack apps for learning different languages
  • Memrise for a community-driven approach with points and leaderboard for learning languages and certain subjects with spaced repetitions.

How to insert date stamp and time stamp into your notes?

In Evernote from a Mac system, Shift+Cmd+d to insert the current date. Shift+Cmd+Option+Shift+d to insert current time.

Where can I learn to code?

If you are not too particular about future trends, I recommend The Complete Web Developer Course 2019: Zero To Mastery (ZTM). There are free resources to learn how to program such as Javascript books and Python books but I find ZTM (Javascript, CSS & HTML) which I purchased to be a good time-saving learning resource that is quite comprehensive, address the main points without wasting much time, has practical projects for practice, taught by an experienced instructor, and has an active big community. I believe one can become a basic developer if he follows and practice accordingly. The instructor (taught the necessities in ZTM and taught it well) also has other related courses if one is interested in more.

If you prefer to learn how to program with visual aids, jokes, and puzzles, then consider the Head First book series. Personally, the first programming book I connected with was probably an earlier version of Sams Teach Yourself C In 21 Days, I find the terse and concise practical code examples or exercises in a smaller chunks format preferable and effective. You have to find what works for you. You might also want to read How To Take Notes For Computer Science.

As of about September 2018, Python has surged past Javascript in terms of interest according to Google Trends.

What are some note-taking strategies?

Alternatively, please feel free to browse around TakeNotesGuide. Good luck!

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

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