How to take notes, and remember them.

Have you ever reflected on your notes and completely forgotten whatever freehand scribble you wrote down in the spur of the moment means now? Taking notes can be a lot harder than it seems. Those who do take notes, most likely aren’t writing down the important stuff. SO, how can you make the most out of note-taking?

Get jotting down BEFORE a session, give your page a title of the session name, note down the speakers name too in case you have any questions, with a space to fill in their contact details too!

Have you tried the 5 R’s of notetaking idea before? Let us talk you through it!

5 R’s of notetaking:

  • Record
    During the session, record in a sectioned off chunk of your page all the main take aways and key ideas/tips. Don’t forget to write legibly, freehand might seem good at the time, but don’t make that mistake!

  • Reduce
    As soon after as possible, summarise your takeaways, maybe go and sit on a table and take a second to sit and reflect and note all your takeaways in another section on your page. Summarizing clarifies what you’ve learnt and helps improve your memory – worth it!

  • Recite
    After the event, or in some downtime, be sure to cover your note taking area and get ready to remember. Using only your brief jottings you wrote down for the summary, say over the facts and ideas of the lecture as fully as you can, not mechanically, but in your own words. Then, verify what you have said was correct. This way, you can see if your summaries are good enough to skip the long notes next time!

  • Reflect
    Draw out opinions from your notes and use them as a starting point for your own reflections and start thinking about how you can use the information you’ve just learnt. Reflection will help prevent ideas from being soon forgotten.

  • Review
    Spend 10 minutes every now and again thinking through a quick review of your notes, and you will retain most of what you have learned. Worst case, you can watch the SQLBits session recording again, we guess!

Try this technique, and you won’t be left with scribbly notes that you cant decipher again!