Taking notes in your own words is a crucial skill. You can convey concepts more clearly than the original text, cut the unnecessary details, and foster comprehension. It directly impacts your success.
Like any other skill, note-taking can be learned – or improved using techniques like AI-powered dictation.
The Science & Art of Note-Taking
Before you attempt to take notes based on certain information, make sure you understand it. Read or listen attentively, making connections and asking questions to clarify any uncertainties.
Next, identify the main ideas and key details. If you have a good grasp of the material, this should not be too difficult.
Small amounts of information are easier to condense. Sometimes all you need is a sentence or two describing your task.
Large amounts of information like textbooks or long, drawn-out office meetings require more effort.
How to Take Notes in Your Own Words
Start with the general concepts, or the big picture. Break it down into smaller, digestible parts. Condense, generalize, think in bullet points.
There is no way to do the above without adding your own perspective to the mix. This is the main principle of taking notes in your own words. You present information in the way that benefits you: making it easy for you to use later on.
Organize notes in a way that makes sense to you. Use tags, topics, and/or keywords to structure your information.
Since each person has a unique way of processing information, you can tailor any material to your perception style. This will make the text more memorable for you.
Additionally, you can infuse your notes with personal reflections and insights. Connect the material to your experiences and understanding.
Voice-to-Text Notes For Inspiration
Dictation is one of the most efficient ways to create good notes. That way, there is no screen or paper to act as a block.
In this day and age, you no longer need a secretary to write down your musings. A speech-to-text app or device does just as well.
More often than not writing or typing creates an unnecessary buffer between mind and expression. It makes you overthink the sentence structure, delete and edit at a whim, and generally lose focus.
When taking a voice note, you can imagine retelling the information you need recorded to an interested person.
The rule of thumb is to forget about editing until you’re done recording.
After that, it’s useful to go back to your notes to review and (optionally) polish them. According to multiple studies, reviewing improves recall and retention.
To sum up, taking effective notes goes beyond mere transcription; it’s about internalizing information and expressing it in a way that resonates with your understanding.