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Old 04-01-10, 06:15 PM
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Re: College and ADHD-How does everyone study?

Originally Posted by Skulky View Post
For me, my best method of studying is to take "picture notes". The point here is to make the main points of a reading interesting and memorable for me. When I take standard notes, I usually never look at them after I'm done; it takes too much effort for me to slog through all of those words again and again.

I find "picture notes" to be more direct. When I take the time to illustrate a concept, it burns into my memory. I can also make quick associations between things. For example, for some sociology notes I took recently, I drew Herbert Spencer as a surgeon, because he made an analogy about how society functions similarly to the way that organs function.

Here are some pictures of how I like to take my notes:

It takes longer to make notes using this method, but it's worth it, because it helps me remember the content, and studying afterward takes less time.

I really think that good studying makes something memorable. Likewise, I've been able to remember information by putting it to music. I can STILL remember particular chemical equations because I fit them to parts of various Disney songs.
It's funny that you posted this because I resumed using this strategy last evening for a research methods course and I have a subscription to this thread.

I too am more of a visual learner and being active helps with the learning process.

A difficulty with college in the U.S. at least in my experience vs. high school, as I've mentioned several times to people, is that in college, there is more material. I usually used rote memory and acronyms and letting memorization of limited information suffice and such and even approaches like you use today, in H.S. but in college, it's hard to use such approaches because I often am not sure what is more important and combined with more material, it makes it more difficult.

I usually choose paper or typing out notes depending on the length of the material but also how visual it is.

One problem I have though is trying to overcome my less than average short-term and working memory when synthesizing different related parts when reading into coherent, clear notes like these you show here, not even necessarily just picture notes, though I do use pictures in my notes.

I have a question related to taking notes, even notes like this since they are more time consuming: What if for example you start writing out notes but then there is another concept or definition that fits into what you already wrote and it is written in a way that sort of already sets that space on the piece of paper; perhaps the way it is written is suffice but a new way would be more clear. This is in part why I've been at least interested by the idea of using a tablet or a tablet laptop but it doesn't seem it would be as flexible as good 'ole paper, pens, markers, with color and such. Also, how do you decide what is worth investing your precious time into and what to invest less or no time into putting into notes? Textbooks make it much more clear with headings. When reading longer non-fiction, such as books that are written aboout the history of a particular topic, such as a 300+ pg. book in a span of a few weeks, that is tough. I find with my ADD, I may get too much into details, I set timers but I also feel if I don't have enough related information, or learn much from reading any given 20 pgs., then I'm wasting my time. One more thing I forgot to note is that paper notes takes more time in some ways + my handwriting is not that great and is messy when I try writing faster to overcome this lack of relative speed compared to typing. I've yet to combine the two ways of recording notes, such as typing and then illustrating what I think are probably the most important points.

Perhaps making a brief outline then followed by an illustration or more graphic/picture-based notes would help. I'm in my 5th year of college and I still feel when it comes to taking notes and reading, I could improve considerably.

Hope this post wasn't too long--you seem like someone that is more decisive than me and maybe you have a few answers you could share.

Thanks for sharing this.
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