There’s no doubt you’ll have to take a ton of notes in nursing school! So you’re going to need a good way to keep it all organized! But fear not! Because I have some tips that will help you find the best way to organize notes for all your classes!
Stay organized and start your semester off right with these tips!
Make a separate binder for each class.
The best way to organize notes is to have one binder for each class. This will keep your notes divided by subject and it will prevent you from mixing up your work! You don’t want to risk losing any class work, homework, or study notes because your papers are all mixed up. Most nursing instructors will not have the patience to watch you fumble through your things looking for lost work. This is all part of being prepared.
Also, be sure to label the spine of each binder with the class subject! I like to use a label maker for this because it’s fast, neat, easy to make, and sticks right on. I also prefer binders with clear display pockets. You can print out one of my free binder covers to add style to the front, your schedule, pictures, or really anything you want!
The BEST way to organize your notes is with A-Z dividers!
Sure, these aren’t as cute as some other dividers… but they’re perfect for classes like nursing where there’s a heavy load of lecture material. I loved using these and I highly recommend them if you’ve never tried them before! Consider dividing up your notes by topic (such as oxygenation), by the date of the lecture, or by exemplar. (hepatitis, COPD, etc.)
Even more, these dividers come with a table of contents! So you can label your notes and quickly find what you’re looking for. First, I printed out the learning outcomes for each lesson. Then I put them with my notes and any other pages that went with that lecture. This really helped when it came time to study!
Print your Power Points with lines for note taking.
If your teacher gives you their Power Points, print them out and bring them with you to class. Power Point gives you the option to print lines next to each slide so it’s easy to write in your notes! Also, use the lines to add any thoughts or questions for later.
Once you’re done, you can hole-punch it and stick it right in your binder! (This may not be the best choice for all power points and classes. Just something to consider! You may hate this layout and that’s totally fine.)
Highlight and Color Code.
Color coding is a fun way and effective way to organize your notes! With so many notes to review and only so much time to study, the colors help to draw attention to the most important things! Best of all, there are so many ways you can choose to color your notes. My favorite highlighters are these pastel ones from Amazon!
- Use one color for each subject.
- Or use one color for headings, for key terms, and for things your teacher stressed.
- Also, use it in your planner! Have a separate color for test dates, quizzes, assignments, etc.
Additionally, if you have a color printer at home, I recommend printing your notes in color if you’re a visual learner like me! I also use the highlight feature in Microsoft Word, add pictures from my teachers’ Power Points and from the E-textbook, and put important info in bold red.
Use sticky notes!
Of course, your color coding wouldn’t be complete without matching sticky notes! And there are so many ways you can use them. One of the ways I used mine was to make extra tabs in my binder to divide by content for each exam.
Add helpful pictures and diagrams.
Add some pictures to your notes! They help with learning, break up the content, and make your notes better to look at. No one wants to study notes that are hard to read and dense with text. Try to make your notes visually pleasing. Make sure to space things out and add helpful pictures!
Well, these clear sticky notes are great for doing that. They make it so easy to add pictures to your notes! All you have to do is stick one of these over the thing you want, and trace it! Then you can move it to your notes after. 🙂
Concept maps are another great way to add visuals to your notes. You can use my nursing concept map as a template for free.
Hopefully, this gave you some insight into the best way to organize your notes for school! Check back every Monday for more Nursing blog posts and helpful tips.
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