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Note Taking in Class

Systems and methods for better note taking that lead to faster learning.

Flow-Based Method

Flow-Based Method

The flow-based method was developed by Scott H. Young who successfully completed the MIT Challenge. Flow is the mental state of complete engagement. Young calls his method holistic learning. 

With flow-based note taking, your goal isn’t transcription it’s learning while in class. The simplest form of flow-based notes is just to write down all the information, except instead of recording it into a bulleted list, you organize it spatially with arrows connecting ideas. It looks more like a hand drawn mind-map with arrows than anything else.

Three principles used in Flow-Based note taking:

  1. Simplify.  Write the information in your own words. Use the Feynman Technique.
  2. Visualize. Use diagrams and images to represent new ideas.
  3. Make Connections.  Connect ideas backwards, between topics, and externally with what you already know.

Best Use: The best use could be in a review lecture. Presumably, you already know the material. You can engage your creative (right) brain by drawing the flow-based notes and begin to make connections that lead to learning.