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How I take notes

lacanlale profile image Jonathan Lacanlale ・2 min read

Taking notes is something I consider essential to a learning process. Generally, if I'm trying to learn a concept, whether it be for school or my own learning desire, I try to take notes that are meaningful, something I would be willing to read sometime later, and happily show to others. My usual process is to always start messy and move the messy notes into a separate notebook; one that's neat with helpful visuals. These visuals tend to be drawings or multi-color text that helps me distinguish topics like vocabulary, conceptual explanations, hypothetical usage, and do's and don'ts.

Here's an example of me learning about Python classes and object-oriented programming in Python:

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Pretty messy right? These notes are what I take as I'm learning, whether that be through video or reading. I don't want to disturb the flow of either learning process, so I typically don't pay attention to how pleasing my notes look, but rather focus on how useful my notes are.

Once I've finished the rough learning, I then take the time to revise my notes in my neater notebook. I'll generally clear a whole page or two based on the subject and write down the biggest takeaways alongside the information that I found to be the most useful.

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Now that I have a clear section, I'll re-read my notes to determine what I would want to keep or throw away. I generally like to mark the order of what notes move in first, and cross out each section as I go. This way I prevent myself of writing down the same thing and keep a clear track.

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I'll continue this process up until the very last section and voilà! A nice section on Python classes and OOP that I can refer to in the future

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If you take notes and have any tips or recommendations, I'd love to hear them! I absolutely adore seeing other people's notebooks and sometimes even draw inspiration from them so please do feel free to share!

Discussion

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Ben Halpern

I’m probably the worst note taker in history, but the very act of scribbling anything as I’m taking in new info helps my process.

My notes:

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Jonathan Lacanlale Author

scribbles always help me when I start to pay less attention to a video or lecture! they always bring extra life to notes :)

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Theofanis Despoudis

I use to take notes like that before. Now I'm taking notes by writing code that works and commit on github. That way I fill my Github profile while learning.

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Jonathan Lacanlale Author

That's a genius way! It sounds like it helps keeping what you know updated for anyone to view which is an added bonus