5 best note-taking methods

Retain and recall information quicker. Use these 5 note-taking methods to take better, more effective notes.

Craft Author: Tom Norman
Tom Norman
Retain and recall information quicker. Use these 5 note-taking methods to take better, more effective notes.

Note-taking is an essential skill that is required by students, professionals, and anyone who needs to absorb large amounts of information.

In today's fast-paced world, it is important to have an efficient note-taking technique that can help in retaining and recalling important information. Here are some popular note-taking techniques that can help you in your daily life.

5 best note-taking methods:

1. Cornell method

This method is popular among students, and it is based on dividing the paper into three sections: the main note-taking section, the cue section, and the summary section. The main section is where you take notes on the lecture, presentation or meeting. The cue section is for writing down keywords, questions, and cues that can help you later when reviewing your notes. The summary section is for reviewing the main points of your notes and summarizing the information you have learned.

Screenshot of the Cornell Note-taking Method
Martin, from the Craft Community, was able to replicate this in Craft using a table and summary block

2. Mapping method

The mapping method is a visual note-taking technique that involves creating a diagram or mind-map to organize information. It is a flexible and creative technique that can be used to capture and organize ideas, brainstorming sessions, and business meetings.

There are digital tools that can help you map out ideas or you can use a pen and paper. The non-linear nature of a mind-map makes it great for brainstorming. Many members of the Craft community use mind-mapping tools to start off ideas before transferring them into Craft to be fleshed out in more detail.

3. Outline method

The outline method is a structured and organized way of taking notes. It involves creating an outline of the lecture or presentation with headings and subheadings. It starts with top-level headings and uses indents to show the hierarchy of sub-headings.

Screenshot of the outline note-taking process
An example of the outline method in Craft and its use of indents

This method is ideal for capturing large amounts of information and summarizing key points.

4. Flow-based method

The flow-based method is a more fluid and intuitive way of taking notes. It involves capturing ideas and concepts as they come to you in a free-flowing manner. This technique is best suited for creative endeavors such as writing, brainstorming, and problem-solving.

If you’re taking notes in class using the flow-based method, it'll involve actively taking down ideas as they come to you as you listen to the lecture. It's not a case of jotting down every point the lecturer makes in their words, but instead trying to make note of the key lessons and ideas in your own words and how they're interconnected.

5. Sentence method

The sentence method is a simple and unstructured method of taking down notes. It involves writing down notes in complete sentences, with each new idea being added to a new line. It’s great for capturing ideas in a fast-paced lecture, but it lacks the structure that can be achieved by other note-taking methods which makes revisiting notes more difficult. Many people who start their notes using the sentence method adapt it to another note-taking method later.

Using Craft, you can easily take notes using the sentence method and later move blocks around, create cards or pages and add formatting to add more structure.


Whether you’re taking class notes, meeting notes, or reading notes, you can make them better and more effective by finding a note-taking method that works for you. Experiment with the options above and see if you can take your notes to the next level.

Notes templates