Best Note Taking Methods For College Students

College is hard. There’s no two ways about it. Between juggling a full course load, extracurricular activities, and a social life, it’s easy to feel like you’re constantly playing catch up. And when exams come around, it can feel like you’re trying to cram a semester’s worth of material into your brain in a matter of days. Thankfully, there are ways to make the note-taking process a little less daunting.

How to Take Notes Like a Boss in Goodnotes?

Here are some of the best methods for taking notes in Goodnotes that will help you ace your next exam.

1. The Cornell Method

Cornell Method Interface

The Cornell method is ideal for visual learners or anyone who wants to make sure they’re covering all the important information from their lectures. To use this method, simply divide your page into three sections: notes, cues, and summary.

In the notes section, write down everything you can think of from your lecture. Don’t worry about organization at this stage—just get everything down on paper (or screen).

Once you’ve got all your notes down, go through and highlight the main points and key ideas in each section. These will go in the cues section.

Finally, once you have your highlights, summarize what you’ve learned in each section in the summary section. This is a great way to review the material before an exam and ensure you understand the most important concepts.

2. The Outline Method

Outline Method

If the Cornell method sounds like too much work, then the outline method might be more up your alley. This method is perfect for people who prefer concise notes that are easy to scan later on.
To use this method, start by listening to your lecture and identify the main points. Once you have these points, create an outline by listing them in chronological order (if applicable) or by grouping them together by topic. Under each main point, add any supporting details or smaller ideas that relate to it.
Depending on how long your lecture is and how quickly you write, you may not be able to get everything down verbatim. That’s okay—just focus on writing down the main ideas and you’ll be all set come exam time.

3. The Mind Map Method

Mind Map Method Goodnotes

The mind map method is great for people who prefer a more visual approach to note taking. This involves writing down the main point of your lecture and then creating branches off that point with related information or ideas. You can also add images or diagrams to further illustrate the material you’re learning.

Mind maps are especially helpful when it comes to organizing complex topics, as they make it easier to visually see how each idea relates to one another. This can be a lifesaver come exam time when you have to answer essay questions about various concepts!

4. The Mapping Method

Another great way to take notes in Goodnotes is by using the mapping method. To do this, start by drawing out a large circle in the middle of your page to represent the main topic or concept. Then, draw out smaller circles around the first one and label them with related ideas or subtopics.

If you want to further elaborate on any of the points, you can draw lines between different circles and add additional information. You can also use colors and symbols to help differentiate between different topics.

The beauty of this method is that it encourages creative thinking and helps you make connections between different concepts—which will be invaluable come exam time!

5. The Charting Method

The charting method is perfect for those who want to get a better understanding of the material they’re studying. It involves creating visual representations of the information you’re learning, such as tables, graphs, and diagrams.

This can be especially helpful when it comes to remembering facts or numbers, as visuals are often easier to remember than words alone. Plus, if your exam requires you to make comparisons or draw relationships between different topics, charts can help make this process much simpler.

In Goodnotes, you can easily create charts by tapping on the ‘+’ icon in the toolbar at the top of your page and selecting ‘tables.’ Then just fill out your table with whatever information you need and you’re good to go!

Using the charting method can not only help you remember facts and figures more easily, but it also makes studying more fun and engaging. So if you find yourself getting bored with your lecture notes, give this method a try!


There are plenty of different ways to take notes in Goodnotes, but these two methods are some of the best for college students who want to make sure they’re prepared for exams. So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the material you need to cover, try out one of these methods and see how it works for you. Taking good notes doesn’t have to be rocket science—it just takes a little practice (and maybe a little trial and error).

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