If you’ve looked at our Notetaking Toolkit you might want to try and use the Cornell Method of notetaking. Instead of ruling hundreds of lines across your notepaper (and then becoming lazy and giving up on Cornell) you might want to try and simply make a template instead.
To create a template is easy:
If you’re writing on lined paper:
- Create a table in your word processor that has only one column and one row (sounds silly doesn’t it?)
- Press spacebar in the table until it is almost a page long.
- Go to the “Table Properties” menu (you can usually find this by right clicking) and change the table borders so that only the left and bottom borders are visible.
- Adjust the margins so that they are comfortable for your note taking style.
- Go to “Save As” and choose template. (Or you can just save it as a normal document and print it if you don’t want to do things the “right way”).
- Load a stack of paper in your printer… then print a bunch of copies of your template.
- Et voila… you have a stack of Cornell note paper… and not a ruler in sight!
If you want to use unlined paper:
The process is exactly the same, except that you make a table with one column and many rows (around 34 rows) to provide the lines.
If you use Microsoft Office, here are a few pre-created templates.
(To use them go to “New” in the file menu, find the “new from existing template” option and open these files from the place that you have saved them.>
use this template if you want to take your notes on printer paper.
You could also use this template if you want to type up your notes, but we recommend that you write them out by hand – it’s much easier to remember things that way.
Creating notetaking templates saves time, and it makes your notes more uniform, better organized, and better study aids… which leads to better grades! You also don’t have to stick to Cornell… if something else works for you, then use that. Here is an example of an template that I found very useful for Psychology:
For more ideas, this site has a ton of examples (most of which you can download) of different note templates. Some of them are subject-specific (for example, there are notes on analyzing characters from a literary work) while others are more general.
If you have any comments, suggestions, observations or feedback on note taking templates please leave them in the comments section below: