How to Organise Your Class Notes

Timothy Hoffmann

How to Organise Your Class Notes

Keeping on top of your notes becomes a big challenge as the school year goes by and new topics pile up. Here are some helpful ideas on how to organise your class notes.

When it comes to exam revision, having well-organised notes is vital for all students. There is no point in spending the whole year taking good notes if you cannot find the information you need when you need it most. Thus, knowing how to organise your class notes may be as important as taking notes in the first place, so you should consider the most effective strategy for you.

Typed vs. Written:

The first thing to consider is to either write or type your notes. It is probably more convenient to type notes for history and humanities subjects, since it is quicker, but you might prefer to write by hand maths and science subjects, since you will need diagrams and notations that would take long to add to a typed document. Whichever you choose, be consistent – do not type half of your history notes and write the other half, as you might find it difficult to keep all the notes together.

How to organise your notes:

There are different ways you can organise your notes, and ultimately it is down to your own preference. It goes without saying that you should keep each subject in separate folders so they don’t get mixed up. Then, each subject should have different subsections: class notes, exam preparation and internal assessments/class projects.

Afterwards, you should keep notes for each topic separate. You can arrange each topic in chronological order of when you learned them, or you can keep topics that are related to each other close together. This can be more useful in subjects like History or English where topics may overlap in a question.

Colour-coding can be very useful for finding notes quicker. Use coloured tabs to divide your topics if you are using physical folders. If your notes are on your laptop, make sure you name your folders appropriately, and you can even number them so the computer lists them in an order that makes sense to you.

For more creative note-taking ideas, check out #notetaking on Instagram.

Remember that your notes are for yourself, so if this system does not work for you, do not force it. You should organise your notes in a way that makes sense to you and makes you feel comfortable. That way, you will get the most of your notes whenever you may need them.

Further Reading