Best Ways to Take Notes for Online Classes

Best Ways to Take Notes for Online Classes

Note-taking is an essential part of the learning process. However, fine-tuning your note-taking skills to align with your online courses can be a hassle. Note-taking in online classes can be a problem, especially for people used to taking them on their PC. The following article will discuss the best ways to take notes for online classes.

It is hard to toggle between a separate note-taking screen and your online course screen. However, taking notes should not be as hard as we make it. It should be an easy task that helps students to put down what they have learned. 

The online space is an excellent learning place due to its endless opportunities. Plenty of information is available online, and content is updated daily. Unfortunately, juggling these two activities can be tedious, especially for first-timers. 

What to Do Before the Lecture 

Kindly consider the following things before showing up for your online lecture;

Show Up Ready 

Most lecturers make their study material available before their actual lectures. Students should take advantage of this by spending at least twenty minutes going through the day's topic to be ready.  

This will help you to focus on knowing the small details in question as your classmates struggle to catch up. The main part of taking good notes is ensuring you know what is in store early enough. Students are advised to raise any concerns they encounter when reading ahead to get clarifications from the tutor. 

Choose a Note-Taking Method and Abide by It

Research has shown students who take short or longhand notes and those who type them have huge differences when recalling facts. However, those who write using their hand are more likely to perform better. 

Take Notes by Hand

Taking notes by hand is old-fashioned, but handwritten notes will eliminate unwanted computer steps.  This, in turn, saves a lot of time. For instance, students will not have to click between different tabs to write down what is being taught. 

You will also not have to pause lectures or videos when streaming. Students can pull out a notebook and a pen and begin writing. While at it, avoid writing everything down. A study has shown that students write everything down in an online course due to the absence of textbooks.

However, writing everything down is not advisable as it lowers the student's focus. Too many notes cause an overload of information, reducing the material a student can recall later.

Write Notes When Reading

Most online courses entail watching lectures and reading the material on your own. Students are advised to become active readers to get the most out of their notes and study materials. For example, they can try taking notes as they read the material instead of skimming through it and taking a few notes later. 

Students should mark what catches their eye when reading and put a question mark if they don't understand something. 

Opt for Pictures and Diagrams 

It is advisable to try drawing diagrams or pictures if you have a hard time picking the right words when writing notes. If the passage is about human anatomy, consider drawing a picture and using short descriptions to label it. 

Diagrams will help you record concepts you will understand when perusing your notes. If the online material has a picture or diagram, save it on your PC, and print it later. 

Listen for Key Phrases and Words

Anybody can read lecture slides, but it takes a focused student to catch vital words and phrases in an online lecture. These keywords show concepts that are likely to come in the exam, giving you an edge on the examination day. 

Writing every word down precisely as the professor says means you are copying mindlessly. Try to listen/read and put the content in your own words for easy reading later. It is also advisable to re-read your notes to detect any mistakes. 

Use Note-Taking Software

There are many note-taking software present today, thanks to technological development. This software help students store, take and share notes from any location. This software is essential even if you are taking notes by hand.

Below we discuss the most common software;

  • Evernote

Evernote is among the most common note-taking software. However, you must purchase it before using it on your device. Evernote is a catchall for your notes, and it stores all kinds. Its top features include audio, image, and visual storage, thus its popularity.

  • Google Keep

Google Keep is a standard note-taking software available for Android and iOS phones. It is a cross-program between OneNote and Evernote and is easy to use. Its main benefit is that it is entirely free and will give you access to other software as you take notes online. 

The Google Keep program also allows for text and image scanning, among other features.

  • OneNote

OneNote is an easy-to-use platform, and it is entirely free. It is part of Microsoft Office and is made to interact with Excel and Word. Users can also access it in app form, allowing them to take notes, record audio, and share files with others. 

  • Ulysses 

Ulysses has been around for over a decade, and it has impeccable features. It is among the complete note-taking software, and the notes are stored in its proprietary style, allowing users to use headings. 

Images can also be embedded in link form instead of putting them in the body text. It saves and syncs your documents using iCloud, and users can export them to other formats. 

Online classes have become a norm, especially since the end of the pandemic. Joggling between listening and taking notes can be challenging, but the above article has discussed how to achieve that. 

Unfortunately, multi-tasking between taking notes and listening to your online class can be challenging. This is mainly due to the many distractions present. The above article has elaborated on how to take notes for your online lecture, and you can reach out for more.

Do you find it hard to take notes in your online classes? Worry no more because we at have what it takes to take your note-taking skills to the next level. We have experienced tutors who will give you the entire guideline to achieve that. 

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