If you have a webinar subscription for continuing education or the current health crisis has caused your courses to move to an online format, you’ve probably noticed that remote learning has its benefits and challenges. Even though the content might be the same, the way that you’re receiving and learning this information is a bit different. Knowing how to take good, clear notes while studying remotely can help you process new information more easily.
Focus on the Main Ideas
When taking notes, write down the main and supporting ideas—not every word that comes out of the speaker’s mouth. By focusing on the main points and summarizing information in your own words, you’re more engaged with what is actually being said and actively processing it. This will also make reviewing your notes less overwhelming.
How you write your notes is just as important as what you write. Come up with an organizational system that works best for you. Some ideas include:
- Color-coding notes by various topics and ideas
- Outlining notes with the main concepts on the left side of a page and the supporting details on the right
- Supplementing notes with questions and keywords in the margin
- Using labels and sticky notes on different sections
You may have to try different methods to see what works best for you. If you’re listening to a live webinar as opposed to a pre-recorded one, you will not have the ability to stop and rewind, which makes your organizational skills even more critical.
Graphics and drawings can be helpful for some note-takers. By charting out your notes in diagrams connected by lines, it may be easier for you to navigate your notes quickly. Creating charts and visual aids can also help when it’s time to recall information, as you can visualize your notes in your head.
Taking effective notes will truly help you get the most out of any webinar or online course. CONCEPT Continuing and Professional Studies at Palo Alto University offers on-demand and live webinars to help mental health professionals expand their skills and enhance their practice. When you’re ready to put your note-taking skills to the test, browse our available trainings.