Which would you think is better: writing notes longhand or typing them? How about underlining and highlighting? Have you ever heard of a Bullet Journal? Do you know how to draw your notes?
All of these techniques were summarized in this article by Fast Company, and we recommend that you read it in it’s entirety after we give you the Cliffs Notes version.
Let’s start with what doesn’t work well for retention – based on studies:
- Highlighting books
- Highlighting your own notes
- Underlining important points
- Rereading your notes to refresh your memory
- Typing your notes on a laptop
That was a big surprise. It’s a wonder any of us made it through college. Turns out these are all passive techniques that aren’t as good as active.
So if those don’t work, what does?
- Handwriting your notes in longhand
- Shorthand – the old and newer versions
- A Bullet Journal (We didn’t know this one either, so here’s a video: link)
- Drawing your notes
And believe it or not, researchers found that drawing your notes works best because it combines several skills: consideration of physical properties, visualization, and use of motor skills. If you want to see a good example, go to this link: Sketchnotes. But if you want to read the entire article, which we recommend, go to this Fast Company LINK. Great stuff, and now we all want a “do over” on college.