Organising your study notes
Here's our five ways to get your study notes organised.
1. Studying several topics at the same time? Consider getting a folder for each course to keep your notes streamlined and separated, or use colour-coded dividers. It prevents any last minute muddles or frantic searches to find information, and helps instil a sense of calm even before you have begun studying. Wondering where you left that course guide? You’ll already know it’s in the appropriate file. You can also use different coloured pens for each topic to help keep them separate.
2. Make a regular habit of organising your notes at the end of each day – what could take ten minutes each evening will knock hours off your future exam preparation. The same goes for your laptop files: get into the habit of naming files by date and course (eg 160427_TPS_FinancialReporting_summary) and store them in individual folders or drives. It’s amazing how many documents people have lying around their hard drives with ‘Untitled’ naming conventions.
3. Be sure to clearly label your notes on the outside of any stationery, such as by year or module: you will be able to locate topics quickly when you dip back for revision purposes.
4. Be wary of writing down absolutely everything that’s discussed. It does help you remember information, but you could end up with an overwhelming amount of paper to read and non-essential facts! If your tutor reiterates the same points throughout a class, these are likely to be the most important pieces of information you will need for your exams and working life. ICAS produces comprehensive notes and materials for students, so you should have a lot of the information you will need.
5. You can also use a digital note-taking tool, if you prefer to reduce paper and space consumption. These tools are also useful for light transport of your notes, and will easily sync with your laptop. Don’t forget that you can download materials from the ICAS website in PDF format, and use module summaries to kick-start your revision.
Check out our own tutor organisation methods - colour coded binders for every topic!