How to study without taking notes: six practicable tips

how to study without taking notes
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Note-taking to most people are surely effective aids to comprehension and retention.  As a matter of reality, quite a lot of persons and even students will claim they can’t attain a level of positive result without some effort towards jotting or note-taking.  Even though to a large degree, it is with respect to formal and exam-oriented projects, these categories of people assert they have no idea of how to study without taking notes.


Unarguably, taking notes during and after studying are useful tips to foster good reading, knowledge comprehension, assimilation and sometimes, even encourage the application of relevant details inherent in study to broader concepts and projects. 

One is able to make references and allusions from note taken during and after a period of time. However, the underlying fact is the tediousness of note-taking in the middle of studying. Moreover, how many will truly confess making references to notes and jottings after a period of completing a study particularly in non–formal contexts? Very few right? I mean, that in itself is tasking. But more woeful is the reality that note-taking during studying is not a guarantee for absolute understanding and retention.

What then are the measures and possibilities for how to study without taking notes? how can one effectively sustain learning and understanding without the excesses of note-taking? Below are six practicable tips on how to study without taking notes:

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how to study without taking notes

1. Make prior plans on your objectives and goals for study

One of the important strategies to aid effective retention and study without note-taking is to plan frontline goals and result orientation for the proposed study even before embarking on it. It is needful that you outline your focus and targets for what you want to learn. In other words, having specific plan of what you aim to know will indeed foster interest and ability to learn and retain learning even after study.

2. Share lessons and highlights of study with others

A practicable and even interesting way on how to study without taking notes is to adequately share highlights, lessons and even experiences studied with other people or even groups of persons. This is definitely helpful for both classroom and informal contexts to aid retention and better cognitive assimilation. A manner of ‘teaching’ what you study actually increases your comprehension and retention even a longer period after the attempted study.

3. Recall and relearn concepts being studied

This means that in the process and after study, you make deliberate practices of vocally recalling major highlights and lessons being literally discussed in your writing. Although this attempt is not a sure guarantee for long term retention, it definitely motivates understanding and relearning which eventually facilitate the application of study.

4. Make connections to what you already know

A wonderful way to effectively study without the accompanying rigours of taking notes is to attempt establishing connections between the object of study to more relatable and familiar substances, experiences and events around you. That way, you are smartly devising stronger techniques of familiarizing with rather abstract textual inferences embedded in studying. According to Charlie Munger in his book; Damn Right: Behind The Scenes with Charlie Munger, “ if you get into the mental habit of relating what you’re reading to the basic structure of underlying ideas being demonstrated, you gradually accumulate some wisdom.”

5. Choose specific time tailored to your personality to read

A smart way on how to study without taking note and hence bridge the gap between knowledge and wisdom is to identify the best time and atmosphere that suits your personality for productive reading. Psychological science reveals the differences in memory improvement and assimilation capacities with respect to differences in personalities, temperaments, experiences and exigencies.  

 6. Attempt Audiobooks and audio-visual reading aids and materials

Yes, as much as this might not always be the next go-to opportunity either as a result of the environment or circumstances of study, a rather experimental and directional endeavour on how to study without taking note might be to utilize visual and audiovisual books for study as this  can certainly boost focus and reinforce interest and pleasure in learning, hence encouraging long term retention of study without taking note. This act of study involves the use of more than sensory organ being simultaneously directed towards learning.

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