Notebooks for students go beyond just taking notes in class (although of course they are great for that too).
Students are in a very creative time in their lives, and notebooks are perfect for capturing that creativity on the go and preserving it for years to come.
My college roommate’s boyfriend carried a hardcover sketchbook with him wherever he went. I was fascinated by it, and loved to flip through the pages. In his book he sketched something reflecting where he went that day, what he was doing and especially people he was with. It was like a visual journal capturing each day. Today it must bring back amazing memories of his college years.
When I was in college I took copious notes in class, partly to stay focused during lecture but mostly because I am a visual learner. I remembered much more material from reading my notes than I ever would have remembered just from listening to the lecture. I’m so visual that during exams I would recall information by visualizing the page in my notes, even which side of the page it was written on, and that would trigger the memory of the correct answer. Despite being a visual learner I don’t have a true photographic memory, unfortunately. That would be very useful! Because I relied on my notes for learning, I was never without a notebook. When I could afford it I treated myself to a cool notebook with good paper to make the daily task of note-taking pleasurable.
Styles and types of notebooks abound, but it’s worth investing in good notebooks to write notes in, especially in graduate school. Your notes need to last for several years, and will be a record of your research and progress toward your degree. Make sure you use a notebook that’s up to the task at hand. A couple of examples:
Your research notes are precious, and must be kept in archival books. Leuchtturm notebooks are especially great for science lab notes and research because of the numbered pages, index and archival quality paper.
Students of geology, ecology, archaeology and others whose research and coursework takes them outside depend on an all-weather notebook to capture field notes in any condition. Rite In The Rain notebooks are the gold standard of outdoor notebooks and can handle outdoor use no matter what the weather.
Of course the goal for any student is graduation and life beyond school. Notebooks are a great place to plot your future. Mind maps and timelines are best drawn in notebooks to give you an idea of what needs to be done to help you reach your goals. The open pages give you the freedom to explore and imagine your options, and record them for future reference and further re-working.
Every student should keep a notebook with your list of graduation requirements (including mandatory classes, credits, projects etc.). Each time you complete a class or other requirement, check it off your list and record the grade or result. I found this was especially important when I was in graduate school. At the beginning of my studies, my advisors and I agreed on what my requirements were for graduation. Because I did a multi-departmental degree, it was up to me to keep track of what all of my advisors had agreed on. At the beginning of my final semester when one of my advisors tried to demand I do additional coursework that would have added another semester of classes, I was able to bring out my list of agreed-upon requirements and make my case that I could graduate when they were completed. Good thing I had kept that list or I might still be doing “one more suggested class!”
Notebooks are essential tools for students when taking notes and planning for graduation and your life beyond. They are also a source of creative expression and a way of recording this unique time of your life.
Best of luck to all you students out there on your progress toward graduation and your professional life beyond!
Post by guest blogger and fellow notebook aficionado Laurie from Plannerisms.com