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Take Smarter Notes to Boost Understanding and Memory!

Teal Larson
Full stack engineer sharing lessons I've learned along the way // Language/learning geek // Pretty cool human. (She/her)
・2 min read

This past year has been crazy hard on us all. A few weeks ago I really felt like I hit a wall with learning new things, career growth, all of it. So I shifted my focus a bit.

Giving Back

Now I'm trying to spend part of my work time creating resources to help those just starting out their journey learning to code!

So far I've done articles on:

Today, I'm reaching back to my days spent literally studying how people learn...

Screenshot of Cornell Notes PageSample of my Cornell Notes Notion template

Why Cornell Notes Matter

Today I'm taking it back to my teaching roots with a learning resource! My favorite notetaking style to teach was Cornell Notes. It was a part of the AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) skills that I taught. Essentially it involves:

  1. Taking notes using ideas, shorthand, sketches, etc. (rather than full sentences)
  2. Going back to add a main idea or guiding question for each section
  3. Summarizing each page based only on the main ideas/questions (cover the notes!)
  4. Reviewing the notes multiple times (I did 24 hour, 48 hour, and one week later)

Developing the main ideas, then by summarizing from those main ideas only help to build connections and process what was learned, versus regurgitating information. The review helps to cement those neural pathways each time.

Get Started!

I've really fallen in love with Notion recently. Naturally, I created a Notion template for Cornell Notes🙌. It includes a notebook and notetaking sheet that you can duplicate. It's designed to use Cornell Notes' review and repetition strategies to boost memory and understanding. I hope you find it useful!

Cornell Notes Notebook screenshotPreview of the Notebook layout

Free Template:

Get the template here and duplicate it to your Notion workspace!

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