Thursday, August 23, 2007

Note-taking methods

I've been interested in note-taking methods ever since I took a class about Mind Mapping a few years ago. Since that class, I've taken meeting notes and brainstorming notes as Mind Maps, often prompting people to ask about the strange web diagrams I draw.

But there are some interesting ideas I hadn't been exposed to, and LifeHacker describes them in an article here:

The one that interests me the most is the Cornell system, described here:

I like the Cornell idea because it includes several useful ideas that are similar to concepts Tony Buzan writes about when he writes about Mind Mapping:

- summarizing and distilling what you note
- reviewing your notes on a regular basis

What I liked about the Mind Mapping class, much more than the Mind Mapping technique itself, was the attempt to match note taking and info management to how our brains work. So you write something down, but you attempt to fit it into a framework or model in your brain. If you form a model of something as you note it, it becomes much more than rote learning and you are more likely to remember it. And then you can review it at steadily increasing intervals if you want to remember it.

If you want more about Mind Mapping, look up any of Tony Buzan's books. They're worth a look.

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