How to Take Notes for Maximum Retention

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How to Take Notes for Maximum Retention by Mind Map: How to Take Notes for Maximum Retention

1. Copying text

1.1. If you’re simply copying+pasting, this is close to useless unless you practice Spaced Repetition.

1.2. When you’re transcribing, you’re not paying attention to the meaning of what you’re writing.

1.3. Essentially, you’re not focused on the comprehension.

1.4. Effectiveness: 2/10

2. 2. Highlighting text

2.1. Highlighting is subjective

2.1.1. When you highlight something, you tell your brain that it’s an important piece of information.

2.1.2. Most of the time, you can’t tell what’s more important than something else.

2.1.3. Don’t see your highlight has a truth unless it’s a verified fact (and even then).

2.1.4. When you go over your material, don’t solely focus on your highlights.

2.2. For maximum benefits of highlighting, note down why you highlighted the passage in the first place.

2.2.1. With the context added in, it’s easier to tell if it’s relevant for you when you review it or if it’s not.

2.3. If you highlighted something and realized later it’s not important or wrong, leave a mark saying so in the margin.

2.4. Review the last day’s highlights before resuming your reading.

2.5. Effectiveness: 3/10

3. 3. Flashcards

3.1. They make your learning more active.

3.2. Here are some pitfalls of using pre-made flashcards:

3.2.1. It’s really not that different from copying+pasting text

3.2.2. How to do validate their truthfulness?

3.2.3. How are you sure they truly relate to what you’re trying to learn?

3.3. They have value when you create your own to do review questions

3.4. What’s nice about flash cards is that you can add visual components to it.

3.5. Effectiveness: 7/10

4. 4. Review Questions

4.1. As you are reading, listening, or watching videos, write down questions about things you want to remember.

4.2. eg: If you want to remember the pitfalls of highlighting, you could write: “Why should I NOT highlight text?”

4.3. By not writing the answers, you force your brain to go in “active” mode and work to recall the answer.

4.4. You can choose to write the answer close to your questions, or note down how to get the answer back.

4.4.1. The latter is better as it’s more active and visual.

4.5. Effectiveness: 8/10

5. What to take notes of?

5.1. For most skills, focus on concepts and procedures — things you can understand and things you can practice.

5.2. When you scan an article, a book, or watch a video, pay special attention to nouns and verbs.

5.3. Any jargon you don’t immediately understand should be noted. Any action verb should be noted.

5.4. Anything that seems to be a sub-skill of the skill should be noted.