Hey guys! Just a quick post about how I organized Math notes during A Levels! I was lucky enough to chance this person on the street doing adverts for a tuition center and giving out free notes! I cut these notes and stuck them in an A5 book.
If I had extra notes I would annotate them on a blank page at the side. I only left the blank page for more difficult topics that I had trouble understanding.
I’m currently reorganizing my Math notes but only halfway through, but a post on that will definitely be coming up soon! Thanks for reading!
Today’s post covers loose leaf handwritten notes to conclude our notes organization series.
I tend to use both lined and blank paper when making notes and have tried writing in paragraphs as well as in the form of mindmaps.
Most of the time I only use black but if there’s extra (useful) information I write it in a different colour to distinguish it from the main point of the notes.
For this mindmap on lined paper I used blue pen for main points and extra information and black pen for processes and extra information. I highlighted key words in yellow. I found that using lined paper for mindmaps isn’t a very good idea especially when your mindmap is very crowded because the lines can interfere with your writing and reading. In general I don’t think I like mindmaps very much because it’s quite messy and you may run out of space and have to redirect your information to another section of a page. Doing a neat mindmap is certainly possible but it would probably take more time as it could require a draft. I’d probably stick to paragraphs with little tidbits of information the next time I do notes.
A mindmap on blank paper certainly seems neater. Here I use blue to highlight key words, teal for titles and numbers and yellow for examples. There’s a few problems with this method – first if you tend to write at an angle (like me) there’s a great chance of your work becoming tilted to a side. You can circumvent this by writing in shorter sentences and it’s not a big problem. The second would be the amount of information presented – my mindmap only covers key points. As you can see examples are highlighted yellow because I have a separate sheet of paper to refer for more specific details. If you’re looking to include details in your work, a mindmap probably won’t do the job.
My plan for the next time I do revision is as follows: compile my own notes in lined paper (probably bound – I’m looking at the oxford notebooks provided the wire doesn’t get bent out of shape easily) and before exams, to summarize what I’ve revised (after revising notes mind you), create a summary mindmap (in 15 min – 1 h) to make sure I’ve covered the basics, then compare to see what I’ve missed out and focus on those parts.
Feel free to leave comments below and I hope you’ve found my notes organization to be of some help! (:
This section is all about digital notes which I type and print out.
The biggest pro of typing notes as compared to writing them out is definitely the time taken. It’s so much easier and faster to type out notes but I feel that it doesn’t help much in retaining information because of the speed you’re typing at.
First I have school typewritten notes. I don’t usually refer to these but I do use school notes in my revision when my school gives us summary sheets. Usually the diagrams and information are clearly explained and extensive enough yet concise. I do annotate if there’s important stuff that the notes don’t include.
I use Mindnode to make mindmaps – it’s an app specifically catered to Apple products. It might be a hassle to use because you can only create one bubble on a page, and you can’t highlight anything digitally but it’s free. If I need to highlight anything I just do it manually and it can help me retain information as I’m reading through the notes again. It’s good for condensing large chunks of information into one or two pages but it can get a little disorganized sometimes as the structure of the mindmap can be difficult to alter when you have too many things on a page.
Lastly when there are many points with accompanying examples (eg impacts of a hazard etc) I like to compile all the causes in a table and add add the examples to their respective columns. If an example is very detailed, I’d explain the example briefly in the table before attaching the case study with specific details behind the table, for easy reference.
I really like this method as it’s extremely compact and concise and I can see everything in one go. It’s extremely helpful in subjects where there are many examples involved (mostly it caters to the humanities).
For the next part of my organization post, I’ll be going through loose leaf notes(: Feel free to leave a comment! Until next time x
The Maruman Inspear binder comes in a range of sizes and colours – I bought the teal colour in A5 size. If I remember correctly they have the binder in B5 and A4 size as well. There are 20 holes so your paper needs to have the right spacing between holes to fit. The colours are very bright and pretty. Unable to resist, I bought my favourite colour(:
It comes with this plastic sheet which I feel is very flimsy and it can hold only a few pieces of paper at best. Also note that this plastic sheet is not big enough to fit a piece of A5 paper without folding the paper. I feel that this makes the sheet redundant since we can only put paper in (it’s too flimsy to hold a pen).
It also comes with a cover page and 10 pieces of A5 paper (from the same brand), of 6 mm spaced lines (that would be narrow ruled). The paper is extremely smooth to write on and you can buy refills in different sizes accordingly. I plan on doing a comparison between this paper and Muji’s binder paper soon.
The binding is a clip based binding and it’s easy to maneuver.
All in all it’s pretty decent if you disregard the plastic sheet! I do feel they could’ve included more paper so we didn’t have to buy refills.
From my local scrapbooking shop! I had accumulated so many points over the last 3-4 years (and only used my card number but not the points itself) so I reduced my price from $80.00 (the album was the most expensive of the lot costing $60 but it came with pages inside and you can add more pages plus I couldn’t find any at the supermarket) to $20.00 (from £40 to £10 essentially)! It was a pretty worthwhile purchase!
Having studied for the A Levels last year, I found myself going over a ton of different notemaking techniques. I’ve made a lot of mistakes on the way regarding my decisions so I thought I’d have a multitude of posts dedicated to notes organization and the pros and cons of each.
First I must say I hate PowerPoint slides and notes. The notes given were very comprehensive but not all information was needed for the exam. I liked my notes to be compressed so there would be less of a mountain to go through when studying.
Pros of making notes: It helps you retain vital information, it organizes your existing notes/textbook material and compiles it all into one source. There’s various ways of making notes so you can choose what you’re more comfortable with (eg mind maps for visual learners, recordings)
Cons of making notes: extremely time consuming (especially if you redo your notes over and over), many different ways to make notes such that you would get overwhelmed. Also you might feel that your notes aren’t good enough and that you’ve missed out important stuff – I got that feeling every time (but you just have to learn to trust yourself).
So here are the first two ways I revised for As by making notes:
These were in an A4 wirebound notebook. I copied the most important parts from my chemistry lecture slides and highlighted keywords.
Looking back now perhaps I should’ve used different colours for different reasons instead of no rhyme or reason to give it a more cohesive feel.
I liked this method a lot as it kept all my notes together. However the wire rings started falling apart and the sheets would come off. Here’s a picture and I only kept the best notebook out of the lot of 4 so you can imagine how bad the damage was:
If I had a better notebook I probably would’ve stuck with this method of note taking. I’ve heard that the Oxford notebooks are really good (going to London for Uni this Oct) so I’m really looking forward to trying them out.
The second method would be a blank book. It was a general notebook and I just wrote notes for whatever subject I felt like doing at the time. I didn’t like this method because the book was blank and I’ve slanted handwriting. Also I tried to cram much of my notes into the space so it ended up being messy. To make matters worse the cover began to fall off. Definitely wouldn’t recommend this way at all.
Feel free to leave comments about notes organization! In the next notes organization post I’ll be going through my math notes and loose leaf organization (handwritten and mind maps).
From top to bottom: Platinum GCR-100, Sarasa clip pen by Zebra and Uniball Signo.
These three pens are pretty much the only pens that I use. I’ve used the Uniball for the longest time but got into Sarasa last year. As for the blue pen, it was a freebie from school last year and it writes beautifully! I haven’t run out of ink yet but I hope I can find some refills!
I only use the 0.38 for Signo because I like how thin it is. There’s a range of colours but it doesn’t appeal to me, thus I only have black. The Sarasa clip pens also come in a multitude of colours and various sizes such as 0.4, 0.5 and 0.7 – I find the 0.7 too thick and it flows uneven. For me there’s no preference between the black 0.4 and 0.5 but I bought the 0.5 simply because it was on offer – a pen and extra refill for less than £1 (the usual price for the pen alone). Again the range of colours don’t appeal to me so I stick with black.
For the Platinum it may seem like there’s a ton of cons but I love the way the pen sounds against the paper (I know I’m weird) – a soft scratchy sound but the paper isn’t damaged and the ink flows not too smoothly but not bad enough such that lines aren’t complete. I also like the shade of the ink – if I can’t find any refills I’ll be super disappointed.
Here’s a comparison of how they look on paper:
What are some of your favourite pens?