Whether you’re a student, you’re taking down notes during meetings, or you’re a regular at industry lectures and conferences, effective note-taking is a skill you need for being more productive.
Although we tend to take notes for years when we’re in school, most of us don’t ever learn how to take effective notes, and how much time we’re wasting on approaches that don’t work.
And unfortunately, the most common approaches to taking notes really don’t work well.

What doesn’t work

Do you ever highlight books or your own notes? Do you underline important points? Do you sometimes re-read your notes to refresh your memory?
Here’s the bad news: those techniques are all pretty much useless.

In fact, highlighting is such a bad study technique it may even harm your recall ability, since it highlights particular notes and takes them out of their original context, which makes it harder to form connections in your mind—and thus, harder to remember the material.
Studies have found the most effective note-taking techniques are active, whereas re-reading, highlighting, and underlining are passive techniques. We need to interact heavily with our notes and the material we’re trying to learn if we’re to remember it.

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