Theme Layout


Boxed or Wide or Framed


Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider

Featured Slider Styles


Display Grid Slider


Grid Slider Styles


Display Trending Posts

Display Author Bio


Display Instagram Footer

How I Do It: Note taking 101

I take a lot of notes... a lot! Sometimes I am lazy and indiscriminately jot down key points on a sheet of paper while I read. But then the time comes when I need those notes and instead of saving me time, my notes are like a code I have to crack. When I don't spend the time taking good notes, I usually end up having to re-read and take new notes (while kicking myself for not doing it right the first time).

Over the years I have realized the value of taking the time to take good notes the first time. What are good notes you ask? Well, I believe a good set of notes does not (like highlighting) record everything. They should be strategic and allow you to engage with the key points and arguments of the book/lecture, while also critically engaging with it. They should be your "Cliff Notes."

I really like the Cornell Note Method:

Once you have divided your paper and recorded the title/topic, take notes while you read (or notes from a lecture) in section 3. Remember to be selective in the points you choose and skip a line between each point. 

As you read you may have a question or concern about one of the points the author/lecturer is making. Be sure to record these questions to the left of the corresponding notes in section 2.

This is the step most people skip - review. After you have recorded the information in section 3, you need to review (this is especially important for in-class notes, often notes taken in a hurry won't make sense a week later). At this stage, I like to select a new color (or two) and rewrite the main ideas/arguments either in section 3 or section 2 (your choice). You can also underline, highlight, or even draw illustrations.

Finally in section 4, write a summary of all the material, including your critical questions and considering the following: What’s the significance of this information? Is this material based on certain theories or principles? Does it relate to other materials I have read/covered in the course? How can I apply this information? How does it fit in with what I already know? 

Of course you have to review your notes more than just the night before a test/paper writing.

Here is a basic template, but it isn't very stylish. Who says good notes can't be cute notes? So here are some fun note-taking templates! Just click, save, and print on a regular sheet of computer paper.

Happy Note Taking!

Ashley B
Share :


  1. Love this post, I am such a neurotic note taker, I have been meaning to try the cornell method of note taking!

  2. I'm so glad I don't take notes frequently anymore, but this is a great how to post!

  3. This is great note taking advice! I love the questions side box idea!


  4. Love the templates you made, that leopard one would have made taking notes in grad school a little more fun!

  5. This is a great idea! Good notes make all the difference. I take way too many. My manager has even commented on it!

  6. This is such a unique way of taking notes. I'm student teaching this semester and I can't wait to teach this technique to my HS students!


  7. I have been struggling with how best to take notes for ages; this is such a great idea! And I love the templates :)


  8. I adore these templates. Will definitely be using this format soon! I really like having consistent notes but I have never developed a formal formula so THANK YOU

  9. How might I print these cute printables in regular size?

  10. How might I print these cute printables in regular size?


[name=Ashley] [img=] [description=Thanks for stopping by! Please feel free to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.] (facebook= (instagram=I (pinterest=