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Organising your notes Note-taking techniques

Your notes are valuable, so keep them organised and accessible so that when you come to write essays or revise you know what you already have.

Think carefully about where to keep your notes and how to store them so they're easily accessible. Organising your notes and keeping them tidy will save you time and is as important as knowing which note-taking techniques are most effective for you.

Here are some ideas to help you get organised.

Using paper for your notes

  • Try using coloured paper so that all related notes are made on sheets of the same colour. Some notebooks have sections in different colours and have the advantage of keeping all your notes in one place.
  • You could use a concertina file, a folder, or a file with dividers to organise your notes according to topic, module or as part of an assignment. Label and number all your pages if you use loose paper.
  • Devise an index to your notes and keep it up to date.
  • Digital notebooks can be very useful as you can store and organise your handwritten notes in an electronic database and save space.

Using a computer for your notes

  • Name folders clearly to indicate their content and use subfolders if it helps to keep your notes tidy.
  • If your notes are in PowerPoint the slide sorter view allows you to cut, paste and rearrange the slides to simplify the way they are organised.
  • Software products are also available to help in taking and organising notes.

Applications such as Microsoft 365 and Google Docs allow you to upload your own files, create new ones and share your files with others. They're stored in an secure online area, so you can access them from any device.

Last updated 4 months ago