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How to Take Notes in Class: 5 Best Note-taking Methods

In this article, I am going to guide you through the top 5 note-taking methods for How to Take Notes in Class. Additionally, you can click on the best note-taking tools to find out 8 best note taking tools. Because let’s be honest not all of us have that beautiful writing with the pen later, we would review with pleasure. Moreover, there are tons of resources you could use to not only save your time but also some paper because each year nearly 4 billion trees worldwide are cut down for the production of the paper.

Besides, of course, this guide on How to Take Notes in Class will come up in handy whether you are a high school student or just a note-taker for some sort of purpose. So, without any further due, let’s dive in!

Why is Effective Note-taking Method Important?

Before discussing why Effective note-taking is important, we shall give a thought to why note-taking and How to Take Notes in Class is important. When it comes to learning something or retaining any information, an input (learning or listening to something new) is just as important as an output (applying that information practically).

Effective note-taking is no doubt a very important skill as a student we all need to master. Even though the human mind is remarkably sharp, we all suffer from forgetting certain small concerns such as forgetting where you put your keys, your wallet, your bills or maybe your sunglasses sometimes (which I always suffer from alongside forgetting my keys). Therefore, surely it is unlikely to remember everything your teachers lectured you inside the class. So, you need to effectively learn how to take notes in the class to revise and recall all the information later.

Effective Note taking

Besides, the one thing that varies between a successful student and not a successful student is their note-taking method. Therefore, they never get stuck because they know what the teacher said a couple of days before let’s suppose about Newton’s Laws of Motion or the 4 steps to finding the derivatives of functions by definition.  So, they never worry even when exams are approaching. They can always go back to their notes when you are puzzled and stressed out. On the other hand, those students who didn’t take any notes will be up to their ears in collecting study material those days.

Depressed Student

Also, read How To Use The Feynman Technique To Learn Faster to supercharge your learning!

How to Take Notes in Class: 5 Best Note-Taking Methods

For “How to Take Notes in Class”, there are basically five best methods you could use. They are the followings.

  1. The Outline Note-taking Method
  2. The Mind Mapping Note-taking Method
  3. The Cornell Note-taking Method
  4. The Note-taking Method
  5. TheNote-taking Method
  6. The Outline Note-taking Method

Note: Below I will be giving an example of some rough body language tips for presentation for each of the note-taking method. However, you can be more flexible while using any of these methods.

1. The Outline Note-taking Method

It is the simplest and most straightforward of all the note-taking methods and I am sure you all are quite familiar with it. This method is mainly based on bullet points and hierarchy.

How to use?

To take notes with the Outline Note-taking Method, you should create bullet points of all the important main points. Then, create sub-bullet points for the details. You write the main topics on the far left of the page and then after indenting below the main topics you write the sub-topics.


  1. It is an easy, neat and straightforward note-taking method.
  2. This best shows the relation between the main topics and sub-topics.
  3. It highlights the key points.
  4. Also, it saves a lot of time meanwhile lectures for further review and edit.
The Outline Note-taking Method
The Outline Note-taking Method

2. The Cornell Note-taking Method

It is different from the other note-taking methods due to its page layout. You can almost use this note-taking method at almost any time in class.

How to use?

To take notes with the Cornell method, you divide the page in 3 to 4 section. The sections are one at the top of the page for the chapter name or date etc, one at the bottom for the summary of the entire topic. Then, the mid of the paper is divided into two parts: the left side covers 30% and the right side covers 70% of the paper.

Actual notes are taken on the right side of the paper and the left side is for the hints, questions, and comments. The last section-the bottom section is kept for the summery which you will have to fill in after you leave the lecture room.


  1. It is a quick way of note-taking and review.
  2. This helps in effective learning.
  3. It also aids in pulling out the main information.
The Cornell Note-taking Method
The Cornell Note-taking Method

3. The Mind Mapping Note-taking method

This note-taking method is more visual than any of the rest note-taking methods. Use the mind mapping method to divide the main topic into different sub-topics and so on. Also, it helps you establish the relationship between topic and sub-topic or points perfectly.

How to use?

In order to take notes using this method, you begin by drawing a circle in the mid of the paper. Then, you keep drawing branches as you add more information such as definition, examples or facts and figures the main topic


  1. It is very visually appealing.
  2. It can be used to note large information in a very concise way with ease.
  3. You can easily add more info when needed.
  4. It helps in constructing the relationship between the topic, subtopic, and details easily.
The Mind Mapping Note-taking method
The Mind Mapping Note-taking method

4. The Sentence Note-taking method

This method is very easy to use overall. It is best for times when you are newly introduced to any topic and you don’t have any idea about the topic. Moreover, it is best for the lectures when you have to note a lot of detail in a very short period of time. Therefore, you list every piece of information one by one.

How to use?

Initially, write down the Topic name and keep adding sentences for every detail as the teacher mentions. For every sentence, you can then use bullet points.


  1. It is easy to review this note.
  2. It is very simple to use.
  3. Also, It is visually appealing.
The Sentence Note-taking method
The Sentence Note-taking method

5. The Charting Note-taking Method

It is an ideal method for situations when you have to note a lot of facts and figures and definitions because you can make columns for each section and add the detail.

How to use?

For this method, you make as many columns as much you need to note all the detail with ease such as in the first column, you write the name of the topic. In the second, the definition, then, examples.


  1. This way all the information is structured properly which makes it easy to review later.
  2. It makes it easy to compare and show the relation between the topic and the detail.
  3. Also, it is easy to highlight crucial information.
The Charting Note-taking Method
The Charting Note-taking Method

Check 10 Best Study Hacks to Skyrocket Your Memory Instantly.

Additional Tips for Note-taking

  1. Note important information such as date and time or reference at the top of the page.
  2. Use the simplest language: Unless you don’t have to show off your notes, you should note in the simplest language which will actively later help you engage your brain and retain more information.
  3. Create outlines.
  4. Write Keywords: Keywords are much better than an entire sentence especially when you sit to review later. Also, it is the technique the master presenter Steve Jobs used to use to give remarkably amazing keynote speeches.
  5. Write as clearly as possible.
  6. Highlight crucial points.
  7. Keep experimenting with all the above Notetaking methods.

Wrapping Up

That is all for the guide on How to take notes in class. I hope it’s been helpful to you. If so, let us know in the comment below. Also, as a student, it is no doubt very difficult to stay motivated all through the end of any class. Therefore, don’t forget to check out our enormous collection of motivating quotes for students.

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