You know how we have our own little universe of design blogs and stylish pinners and instagrammers? Well, apparently there’s another universe on stylish studying and note taking. I discovered this little world over the weekend and fell in love with the fine artistry of note-taking…and also learned a surprising fact it has on our brains.
This world of stylized notes is created by the digital generation. Yes, the kids who practically came out of the womb holding a smart phone and shooting a selfie. Gives me hope in their generation and penmanship staying alive. Check out this beautiful note-taking.
MORE THAN JUST PRETTY…
As I researched as little more, I learned that there is also a serious benefit to handwritten notes, according to this study by Princeton University. It reveals that handwriting notes, versus typing notes on a keyboard, is better for both understanding and remembering conceptual information long term. Students who took notes longhand performed better on exams than those who took notes on their laptops. Handwriting requires a different type of cognitive processing than typing, and stimulates more effective memory cues because you’re forming the content in your own words.
Look at this weekly to-do list – way better than staring at a boring iphone cal. Such talent. And I love the little motivational sayings she wrote to herself : )
Excuse me, where were these creative note-taking prodigies during my days of scribbling Chemistry notes onto boring note cards?! And why didn’t I think to color coordinate and style my to-do lists??
Being a right-brained/creative/visual learner, I really struggled with the whole left-brained style of learning in school. Nothing was ever presented in a particularly pretty or visually appealing way – it was usually blah and overwhelming. I remember getting distracted many times in class by noticing that the learning material wasn’t visually harmonious…meanwhile my peers were listening and paying attention to the actual lesson, ha. I always had to find ways to make things more interesting or pretty if I wanted to memorize something like a history timeline from the 1400’s. Western Civ was nearly the death of me!
I could totally deal with these U.S. History notes. I would have picked her as a study partner and lovingly brought her Starbucks lattes if I could just tag along in creating these notes.
Yes, learning should be pretty. And handwritten. I could remember anything with notes like these, hello.
I love how this student rambles on about the speed at which a chemical reaction happens while keeping everything organized and beautiful in their notes. Geesh.
HOW TO UP YOUR NOTE & PLANNER GAME:
1. Grab a pretty notebook or planner.
2. Invest in some fancy highlighters. Color is key when making pretty notes. These highlighters look pretty cool and are only $8 for a set.
3. Try a hand drawn graphic to add some pretty detail in your notes. Like these graphic doodles by a third year Neuroscience student.
If you have a student (or are a student) who appreciates the creative side of learning, try sharing these ideas with them. Who knows, it might help them bring a little more creativity into their learning and even help their understanding at the same time. I shared all of this with my daughters (fellow creative/visual learners) and they loved it!
Seeing these notes brings back some fun and grueling college memories. Lots of late night instant coffee and college library study sessions. I’m now inspired to play around more with my own to-do lists and help my creative ones study a little smarter and prettier.
And some great advice for the student in all of us…
Cheers to making notes smarter and prettier!