Note taking - Step 2 – Collect information

7 Steps to Better Writing - Charles Maxwell 2020

Note taking
Step 2 – Collect information

Depending on where you find information, there are different strategies for notetaking.

Printed Materials and Online Text

When you need to read a large volume of material, first skim the documents quickly, consulting tables of content, summaries, and graphics.

When reading the most relevant sources, consider printing the material and then reading it from paper, or read it from a lightweight electronic device. This often results in higher reading speed and better retention. Mark what is relevant and bookmark important sections for later retrieval.

Consider using a text reader for complex materials that you need to understand in detail, such as contracts or abstract concepts. You will find more information on text readers in chapter 7.

Radio, Podcasts, TV, DVDs, and Internet Videos

When watching recorded or streaming media, it helps to have the device controller nearby so you can stop and replay what you are watching. When watching or listening to live TV or radio broadcasts that you will not be able to re-watch or re-listen to, record the program.

When watching internet videos or listening to podcasts, speed up or slow down the playback speed according to the need. YouTube and many podcast apps allow this, but other players do not. A workaround is to download the video or podcast and use Microsoft Windows Media Player to adjust the speed. (You can do this when in the Now Playing mode by right clicking on the player, selecting Enhancements / Play speed settings, and then using the slider to select the desired speed.)

When listening to or watching something to which you expect to later refer, make a simple outline. Take down people’s names and other difficult to remember facts. Also, use a clock or timer to note where information occurs, so you can rewind to that point.