Three steps to effective note taking (ENTS)


PRACTISE ”ENTS”  AND  SCORE A+                                       


We are familiar with note taking since our school days till college or university , for some maybe after that as well. And taking notes is highly effective and with so many research showing it now how beneficial it is But, there is a difference between note taking and effective note taking which changes the entire game of how you can take full benefits from your notes.
Lets start by saying what are the benefits of an “Effective note taking System” ENTS
• Notes are organized , summarized , and easy to review (organization skills)
• Identifying strengths and weaknesses of the topic easily (prioritizing)
• Faster and comprehensive revisions ( retention)
• Increase focus and attention , thus improving long study sessions without procrastinations
(focus ,concentration and attention to detail)
• Changing and adding things according to one’s own need and visualize how the presentation of your notes suits your eyes and mind the most (creativity)

There are many note taking method that you can look up for like
1. The outline method 2. The Cornell Method 3. The boxing Method
4. The Charting Method 5.The Mapping Method
Note taking is a science and well as an art and you don’t need to follow any particular type or style or method , you can take the best that suits you and modify according to your needs
Here , you wont find any such methods to be specific rather it will be like a path that will lead you to your destination of ENTS , which is very basic and you don’t need too many things also , you can at any point of time add or deduct steps or stationery you want because this is a broad framework of you prepare execute and analyze your notes
The three stages are
• PREPARE – This stage or step is the step you take before the lecture or your note taking session.
This includes having required stationery like note books or loose sheets, Binders and files, pens and markers ruler , pencil and erasers. The amount of stationery used depends on the note taker and his / her level of creativity but, you must keep a blue, black , and two other colored inks which is available easily from shops or online , using a broad nip pen will be beneficial for headings so you can have that as well , binders ,note books and file is a necessity and well as pencil and ruler to organize and make your diagrams and notes, you can buy sticky notes and flashcards which will be used for addition, modification or revision or can use alternatives like small phone diaries or pad and can even make your own by cutting chart papers and pinning them like flashcards
Before the session or lecture starts skim through the topic that you are going to note down and make bullets of all the key areas in your sticky notes or the alternatives mentioned above.

• EXECUTE – This stage is during the lecture or session and is further divided into two parts but is applicable if you are taking notes from a lecture and not by self studying , if you take notes while self studying you can skip the 1st step
While taking notes at a lecture Its not possible to have a very neat one because average student take 1/3 of a word per second and average teacher speaks 2 -3 words per second, if you try to copy everything your teacher tells you will be left behind , so use a separate rough copy to take rough notes using abbreviations for your understanding
Try looking at your rough notes later that day or maximum the next day
This is the 2nd part of execution which includes putting your notes fairly and for some of you this is the 1st step so
1) Check your sticky notes or diary to see if all the topics that you made bullets are covered in this lecture or not to stay updated
2) Use margins in both sides of your notes for further additions later on and also to make it look neat
3) You can use cloud boxes or squares to put important formula, words or small diagrams
4) At the end of every sub topic or at the end of every page you can write a brief summary for the gist.
5) Always draw/redraw your diagrams with pencils to make it clean , you can erasable pen as well
6) Use highlighters or sketch pens to mark important areas

• ANALYZE – This stage is immediate after you execute your note taking process, in this process
(1) You tally your fresh notes with the rough one to make sure you have everything penned down
(2) You can further study or do research and use the spaces left along the margins to fill up with anything extra and useful , so can fill it whenever you find anymore to your notes
(3) Using flashcards for last minute revision use a separate number encircled at the top of your note to identify the respective flashcards for the respective topics so as to avoid last minute hassle(brief summary at the end of your page makes it even more easier)
(4) Using further creativity to enhance your notes so as to make it striking and vibrant that helps you memorize and learn effectively and fast.
(5) After your notes are done and completed make sure to put them together and in a organized manner in the respective file or binder
(6) Use markers pen or labels and print outs to identify one binder, file or note book from another to label each one of them

While just using  ENTS you are going each topic three times and not in a monotonous manner and without stressing you but rather in a fun and creative way at your convenience and sub consciously you are improving your grades and becoming better than the rest – Sohini Majumder


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