Home Forums Welcome Hello! Decluttered note taking

This topic contains 14 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of janifar lee janifar lee 2 weeks, 6 days ago.

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  • #159522
    Profile photo of Parsifal
    Parsifal
    Member

    Any students out there with an opinion on how to efficiently take notes with a minimum assortment of binders, notebooks, index cards and so on? I find myself in the new position of having to take mass transit to school and thus want to lug as little weight as possible. Taking notes on a laptop is cumbersome and there is the setup and tear down time. However, using a spiral notebook for each class means more papers to keep track of.

    DW’s opinion is to get a 5-subject notebook, which is certainly an appealing option and probably the best compromise between keeping all my subjects separate and dealing with as few notebooks as possible…

    I’d prefer not to use a 3-ring binder because of the size and heft, and I would need to carry 3 at once several times per week.

  • #194198
    Profile photo of Another Deb
    Another Deb
    Member

    Decluttered note taking

    Why not use loose leaf paper and carry only enough to take that day’s notes? Then you can keep them at home in the binder? Just put the date on each page and put page dividers in for each class you take.

    I keep dozens of heavy binders full of lesson materials at home and then transfer the current materials to a thin floppy binder for use at school. You could do the same. If you are studying for a test en-route, just bring the materials for that class, that chapter, etc.

  • #194202
    Profile photo of luxcat
    luxcat
    Member

    Decluttered note taking

    I used a 3 or 5 subject notebook depending on class load throughout under grad and grad school. It worked great. I also like the loose-leaf paper approach mentioned above but with my luck I would have forgotten to bring to class just the sections I would have needed to refer to when the surprise quiz turned out to be open note or something….

  • #194203
    Profile photo of Irulan
    Irulan
    Member

    Decluttered note taking

    You could use pronged folders (like this: http://goo.gl/oJEOD )in place of binders for your notes. I also used the transfer method that everyone refers to above, and I kept several weeks’ worth of notes in the folders, plus syllabus and handouts. I swapped them into binder maybe once or twice per semester.

    You could also use a multi-pocket folder (like this: http://goo.gl/sAAYr ). I used those for transferring research notes on concurrent projects without mixing them.

  • #194205
    Profile photo of smallLife
    smallLife
    Member

    Decluttered note taking

    Mead makes a notebinder – rings like a binder to hold papers and flips like a notebook.

    http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/mead-five-star-flex-hybrid-notebinder-1%26%2334%3B/ID=prod2389292-product?V=G&ext=frgl_Google_Household

    I had one during college and it was amazing (I’m a lefty so having a flat writing surface was key). As light or heavy as the amount of papers, with the ability to mix notebook paper and hand outs. It’s around $15 but personally I think it’s worth it to have everything in one place and re-use it semester after semester (mine got me through three years and now my brother is using it in high school).

  • #194209
    Profile photo of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    Decluttered note taking

    My degree was via distance learning so I never had lectures to take notes from, I used to just mindmap each chapter of the textbook. My MSc I have seminars but the lecturers almost always provide handouts, I just scribble on those so everything is together and then collect up all the pages for each subject into a plastic wallet. That might be a good solution for you: one of those plastic envelope-type wallets with a closure. That way you can use loose leaves and only carry a single large notebook you can tear pages out from but keep them specific to each subject. They’re light and not too bulky and you can have one per subject and stick a label on the outside. And mindmaps! Much more efficient method of taking notes as you can capture all the ideas with keywords in one or two pages, especially if you use a bigger piece of paper. If you are able to prepare for classes in advance you can take fewer notes and concentrate on what’s said better. My first degree I think I spent so much time trying to capture lectures that I’m not sure I actually learnt anything 🙂 For my current seminars we are given reading lists and I try to read up a few key papers in advance so I know what will be discussed and some terminology and key ideas.
    There is a really fantastic blog called studyhacks which is worth reading for some tips on studying.
    http://calnewport.com/blog/

  • #194210
    Profile photo of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    Decluttered note taking

    Oh yeah, and I often take the train to uni. I have a messenger bag which goes over my shoulder, so I don’t want to carry too much. If you have access to electronic versions of anything, save them all on a flash drive rather than using printouts wherever possible!

  • #194218
    Profile photo of Phlebas
    Phlebas
    Member

    Decluttered note taking

    Depending on your point of view, this may be the opposite of “uncluttered” — but I have always loved the Circa system for note-taking. It’s ridiculously easy to keep a planner and notes (and whatever else you want) all in one notebook, and move things out to other notebooks at a later time. I’ve used this for my graduate studies, for many years as a teacher, and now for managing projects at my corporate job. You could accomplish the same thing with some planning and a 3-ring binder, but I find the Circa books less bulky to carry around and more pleasant to look at and use. Your mileage may vary.

    There is a similar (and less expensive) version of the system called Rollabind.

    http://www.levenger.com/PAGETEMPLATES/NAVIGATION/Products.asp?Params=category=326|level=2|pageid=1749

  • #194219

    Decluttered note taking

    I have switched to a total paperless office. I take notes on my computer, digital pictures with my phone, email my proposals.

  • #194224
    Profile photo of Periwinkle
    Periwinkle
    Member

    Decluttered note taking

    Subject notebooks are nice but you can’t rearrange the papers which would drive me up the wall. Personally, I just put up with it an use a lever-arch file (two-ringed, since I’m in England) and every week I go through and take out what I’m finished with. I’m at 6th form which is between school and university, so I have class handouts and notes taken from presentations and also work I’ve got back, work to hand in, etc. etc.

    I know some people who use spiral-bound notebooks but use one for all their subjects, then decant into files at home once they’ve filled up the book (don’t know about in America, but normally the subject notebooks we get here aren’t punched or perforated, whereas regular refill pads or spiral books are, so they’re a million times easier to file).

    FTR, if you’re looking for a file, I have a Staples Better Lever Arch File and it’s fantastic: http://www.staples.co.uk/office-supplies/filing/lever-arch-files-accessories/lever-arch-files/staples-better-binders-lever-arch-files

  • #194231
    Profile photo of s
    s
    Member

    Decluttered note taking

    I don’t do it since I’m not taking classes, but making use of Evernote or PDF files on an e-reader sounds very cool.

  • #194461
    Profile photo of Jude2004
    Jude2004
    Member

    Decluttered note taking

    I love notebooks and taking notes. When I was taking classes, I didn’t keep a separate one for each class. I used one notebook for everything, then typed it into my computer when I got home(I type over 100 WPM) because that would reinforce my memory.

  • #195875

    Decluttered note taking

    I also used spiral-bound notebooks that come perforated and with holes here (Germany). At the end of each day I tore out the pages and but them into binder(s).
    I also scribble on handouts as much as possible. To class I brought a binder with the latest stuff and handouts etc.
    One important thing: I have a separate small notebook which is kind of my main organizer. Here I note down a short summary of work done on that day, any homework, any important announcements, titles of books I need to look up, topics I should research and so on. This way I have all my action stuff separate from my information stuff. I cross off the stuff once I’ve done it.

  • #195911
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    lottielot
    Member

    Decluttered note taking

    I have that kind of stuff in my Springpad app 🙂

  • #313759
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    janifar lee
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