This is just a quick post about a note-taking method I’ve arrived at that works best for me. Feel free to try it and tailor it to suit your needs if you’d like to! I’ll also be giving my non-promo, completely honest opinion on the supplies and stationery I used in multiple reviews throughout the post. 🙂
As you can see in the picture, I like to start off with a brush-lettered header that describes the overall topic of the notes I’ll be taking. Of course, this is completely optional and I sometimes skip it if I’m in a rush!
Marvy Uchida Color In Markers [Header]
- Pros: They write very smoothly and the brush tips are flexible and responsive, with plenty of ink flowing freely despite the small overall size of the markers. The price was also relatively low; I got a set of 10 pastel colors for only about $9 USD at a local art store!
- Cons: There are only two downsides that I can think of–after a while, the tips of the markers start to come out a bit, which, thankfully, can be remedied by pushing the tip back in manually. There is also a bit of bleeding through my Mead Five Star notebook paper, but it’s very slight and definitely manageable.
For my subtopic titles, I choose a main idea within the text. For math, it might be the name of a formula, for example. I also like to make boxes, if there’s random empty space in my notes, and write cool quotes in them for fun!
Zebra Mildliners [Subtitle & Outlined Quote Box]
- Pros: They’re very pigmented but not so much that they hide whatever they’re supposed to highlight. The fine-tip end of the highlighters is better used for drawing or making sections for other relevant information.
- Cons: They do smudge almost every kind of pen I tried to use with them, except for the Uni-ball Super-Ink pen I use for the black main text in my notes. The fine tip wears down after a little use, so it’s difficult for me to use it for key words. As such, I tend to use it to decorate add-ins here and there (e.g. a quote or doodles).
Within subtopics, I draw in symbols that represent different bits of information to watch out for in order to catch my attention when revising. For instance, the simple “Ex: ” circle allows me to quickly locate any practice problems I may need to remind myself of how to solve before I take a test.
Uni-ball Super-Ink Deluxe Fine Pen [Subtitle & Main Text]
(whew, what a mouthful)
- Pros: They write very smoothly and do NOT, under any circumstances, smudge under highlighters. I was so surprised that they were so high quality for the price I got them at. They were only $1 for a set of two on clearance at a local store! They definitely make writing lots of cursive a breeze.
- Cons: These pens can be a bit painful to hold if writing for long amounts of time, largely due to the lack of comfortable grippage (I don’t think that’s a word–oh well¯\_(ツ)_/¯). Also, I personally feel like the ink almost flows a bit too smoothly. I tend to have more of a proclivity for the responsive feel of most retractable pens.
I’ve written my key words in blue pen for as long as I can remember. I recently picked up the idea of making little information symbols for other important ideas. For example, a teacher might make a few seemingly offhand comments about something not mentioned in the class’s powerpoint. I’d probably include that info next to an information symbol so that I could quickly glance over it the day before the test in case it does show up as a tested concept.
Uni-ball Signo 207 Pen [Information Symbols]
- Pros: Aaah, the response from these is amazing! I can see the little indentations each of the pen-strokes have made in the paper after I’ve written something. It’s honestly so satisfying. Furthermore, the color is very pigmented and not streaky in the least. The price is pretty good, at $8 for a set of eight at a local store.
- Cons: They do smudge. Under literally everything I’ve ever tried them with. *cries* I also have these in black and love them very much, but the smudging under highlighters is a really bad con for me. Unfortunately, I find alternating between a Super-Ink pen for subtitles and a Signo pen for main text too bothersome.
Out of all the ways I organize my notes, the warning sign symbols have to be my favorite. They’re always a very noticeable, eye-catching reminder of exactly what silly mistakes I have to look out for, which is especially helpful for math. ｡ﾟ(TヮT)ﾟ｡
Paper-Mate InkJoy Pen, Older Version
- Pros: The ink color is a nice, bright red. I also kind of like the softened-edge-triangular-prism-esque shape of the barrel, although it can be a bit awkward to hold if you’re not used to it ^_^”
- Cons: To tell the truth, I was a bit disappointed in these. Maybe I just got a bad batch, but the pen skips a lot and isn’t all that smooth for me. However, it is the only red pen I currently own, so it serves its purpose. I don’t remember what price the set was, but do keep in mind that there’s a newer version that recently came out (which I haven’t yet tried).
I often use sticky notes with a good deal of double sided tape securing them safely onto my paper so that they don’t fall off when they lose their stickiness. Usually, I like to write the general steps of how to solve specific types of problems on them. Then, I stick them right next to an example problem of that particular type. My favorite part about this method is how easy it is for me to move my notes wherever I need them–I can stick step-notes right onto a practice packet or a returned test that I messed up a problem on for instant revision.
Generic Sticky Note
- Pros: Veeeeery cost-effective. I think I got a set of four colors, 100 sheets each, at a dollar store? I also really appreciate the simplicity of a plain, pastel colored sticky note: it gives me the freedom to customize however I’d like to.
- Cons: While I do like the minimalist aesthetic, sometimes I really want sticky notes that look like fancy marble or cute bunnies. Unfortunately, I’m not a great artist. [Case in point below]
I have one last stationery item I’d like to review, although I didn’t actually use it in my post ^_^”
Pilot Frixion Soft Highlighters
- Pros: IN LOVE WITH THESE COLORS. I’ve heard people say they’re too pale, but isn’t that what pastel is all about? They’re so peaceful and calming! Plus, the erasability is great over printed paper, which is awesome because I make lots of mistakes.
- Cons: Unfortunately, every time is smudgy time™ with these highlighters, EXCEPT with the Super-Ink pen, which I am truly grateful for in instances such as these. Also, I would not really recommend erasing more than twice, as it tends to rip up the paper a bit. I mainly use these for highlighting large amounts of printed text. For example, answers to comprehension questions in Spanish. So if I mess up, I’m just erasing over a page of printed text instead of wet, smudgy ink.
With that, this post has come to a close; thanks for having taken the time to read it! If you’d like to see more of my study notes, please check out my studygram @fortheloveofstudies 🙂 Feel free to leave any suggestions or comments below as well.