Everyone, at least once in their lifetime, becomes a note-taking person.
It's either to be more organized in work, studies, and life or just the idea that successful people take notes.
And regardless of the intention, people do great at taking notes. Plus, the techniques like the Mind-Mapping, Charting methods, etc., can really make you a note-taking wizard.
But when the burden of these notes outweighs your organizational skills -the real struggle begins.
Here we made a step-by-step system on how to organize notes. So, you have hassle-free access to the notes you made while reading or attending that meeting.
How to Organize Notes: A step-by-step Guide
Organizing notes is not just about making folders in the note-taking app. It's more than that.
Consider it like saving money. First, you should have the money. Next, find the proper way of saving it. And finally, this money should be readily available.
In the same way, you should first have a proper note-taking structure. Then, choose methods of organizing the notes to make these readily available.
Don't worry if things feel overwhelming right now. Everything will become clear as we break the details into specifics.
Start by Creating a Note Taking System
The first step in organizing your notes is finding out what works for you. To start with, explore different note-taking methods, Outline, Cornell, Visuals, etc.
This note-taking method doesn't necessarily need to be fancy. If long plain sentences in a simple 'Word Document' seems right to you, go with it.
But we always suggest focusing on readability. Plus, highlighting the text and adding visual clues are equally important.
The reason we want you to have to develop a system is that, over time, this will be your note-taking template. And when you'll re-read your notes, these will be much easier to interpret.
Organizing the Notes using Note-Taking Apps
After finding that perfect note-taking mantra, it's time to choose a medium for note organization. Note-taking apps are the easiest option here.
These apps offer multiple benefits; regardless of your organizational skills, there is always something to learn.
First, with availability across multiple platforms, you can use your notes anywhere, anytime.
Next, you get a high level of customization, even with some premade templates. Additionally, you can make folders, categories, tags, etc.
Here are some of the note-taking apps we suggest.
Notion: Easy to use, best for students, and free for personal use.
Evernote: User-friendly, but you have to pay for premium features.
Google Keep: A simple note organization solution by Google.
Google Docs: For old-school note organization.
It's not like one note-taking app is better than the other. But a matter of personal choice, like what resonates with your personality.
Making Categories, Folders, and Tags
This is an essential step in organizing your notes. The reason is with proper categorization; you can easily filter out notes months or even years later.
Here’s how you make proper categories and folders for your notes.
Start by defining broad categories your notes revolve around. For students, the broad categories could be "Study, Work, Finances, Hobbies, and self-improvement."
Next, sub-categorize each section into further relevant areas. For example, with the study, you can make subject-wise categories or the notes you made in a certain month. Make sure to spend a good time making as many sub-categories as possible.
Arrange notes into their relevant folders. Don't over-saturate certain categories.
Label each of your notes sub-categories with certain personalized tags.
Use your Browser for an Easy Access
Another way you can organize your notes is by using your internet browser. This method is the best for working professionals who don't want the hassle of note-taking apps.
Here’s how you can do it.
Select a profile in the browser you want to save your notes on. The profile can be new or your existing one.
Then import your pre-existing notes to Google Documents. You can also start by making some new notes.
Create a bookmark folder for the category of these notes. Then bookmark your notes under that category.
You can use the Bookmark name as a special ‘tag’ for your notes.
Keep creating Bookmarks depending on the number of notes you want to arrange.
This method of organizing notes takes time to develop. But those who once develop it rarely switch to any other method as it's both easy and fun.
Superdense also has a bookmark management system. If you don't like to use your browser's bookmark manager, you can try Superdense to organize things creatively.
Two-way Notes Organization
Many people, especially students, always feel a need to keep their study notes separate. Therefore, we recommend this 'two-way notes organization.'
There is no rocket science here, but just some extra work. Here's how you can do the two-way note organization.
Start by creating a functional note-taking system for you.
Then, divide your notes into two broad classes. One class should be your "bread and butter" notes. Like if you're a student, these can be your study notes. While other notes can be "not-so-very-important-notes."
Next, for writing and organizing your important notes, you use one system, i.e., a note-taking app. In comparison, you organize all other notes in another way, like saving them in the browser.
This way, you won't be distracted by hundreds of other notes when looking for something significant.
But as mentioned earlier, it is a little extra work. But since it can increase your productivity, we recommend at least giving it a try.
The Bottom Line: Improvise, Adapt, Overcome and Repeat
You may start organizing your notes in a certain way, and it won't work. Therefore, we recommend this "improvisation" method.
It's that if you try several note-organizing methods, you will eventually end up making your note-organizing system. And that's the end goal of this discussion.
Hopefully, you have learned something from it.