The Cornell Method is one of the most popular note-taking methodologies used by students and professionals alike. In its essence, the Cornell style note-taking method is a system for registering, organizing, condensing, and reviewing notes.
Fonder by Professor Walter Pauk of Cornell University in the 1950s, the system is excellent for active learning.
CNT is primarily a paper-based system, and research has shown that people who hand-wrote their notes on their own showed better learning than those who typed theirs.
The Cornell method notes is also practical because when a learner summarizes the information shared with him in his own words, he is more likely to remember the said information better.
Cheat code => Notes = Facts; Cues = Questions; Summary = What you've learned
You can start by dividing a page into three distinct parts, as shown in the image below: notes, cues, and summary.
At the top of the page will be your title/heading, which is a cue for this page's content. So a good title would be something like "Becoming Productive at the Office" rather than "Productivity."
Once you have the heading in place, you can start with the section on the right meant for Notes. This is where you note down important concepts, ideas, personalities, graphs, etc., that the narrator/lecturer delivers.
Tip: Remember not to use long sentences when you are taking notes. Ideally, keep the length between 5-10 words.
After recording the main content from the session, we can now move to the left-hand side of the sheet titled "Cues," where we add questions, abbreviations, symbols, etc., about the session. This section is used to help you remember and organize the content learned during the session.
Finally, you have the bottom section, where you write a few lines summarizing the session in a consolidated manner.
Remember to write the summary down as soon as possible while the information is fresh in your mind.
You can break down the process of the method into five distinct steps to get the most out of it. They are (chronological order):
There are a few helpful guidelines you can use while implementing the Cornell notes method. They are:
To conclude, the CNT method has been around for more than 50 years and has a lot of practitioners for a good reason. If you take notes regularly for school or work, this is worth exploring.
What are your thoughts about this note-taking method? Drop them in the comments below. If you find value in content like this, consider subscribing to Routine's podcast called "The Productive Minute" here: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, & Google Podcasts.