Tips to Step up Your Note-Taking Game

Boredom, confusion, stress, and anything else… there are so many things that can distract you from taking good notes. And, unless you have a #PhotographicMemory, then you’re going to have to learn how to take good notes eventually.

Here’s the thing, taking good notes is critical to your #Success as a BCBA, both in school and professionally. So, if you’re still sitting in classes scratching your head, chewing on your pen, wondering when the hell will this all be over and you can go grab a drink… PAUSE. Let’s learn some great note-taking techniques that will make that well-deserved drink taste a little bit better.

Different strokes for different folks #AmIRight? There are a bunch of different ways that you can take #GoodNotes, so why not learn a few you so can decide which one best fits your style.

First, let’s talk about the elephant in the room… handwritten vs. digital notes. In all honesty, it doesn’t matter whose team you are on for this debate, both are totally acceptable methods of taking notes. Let’s look at the pros for both:

Taking notes by hand

  • Better memory foundation
  • Sketching and drawing fun pictures

Taking notes digitally

  • Faster
  • Less hand cramping (ouch!)
  • Sharing notes with your besties

Like we said, pick your poison here, it truly doesn’t matter, #YouDoYouBoo. Happy fun learning time here we come.


This method is about as simple and straightforward as it gets. In the order you’re taking in information, create a hierarchy of main topics, subtopics, individual points, and subpoints. However, don’t forget to leave some space here to draw your cute examples or any other pictures that help you retain information. How about a #Basic example? Check out our Pinterest for some ideas. 


Great for multiple topic discussion (ahem.. ABA) charting lets you compare and contrast a few different things all at once, #Impressive. The simplest way to do this is to divide your notes into two columns and add important pieces of information to each column as your lovely instructors present you with more knowledge. Our “Concepts & Sh*t Notebook” is perfect for this type of note-taking. And, as always, don’t forget to leave some space to flex your #ArtisitcTalent.


This is the preferred method for our stunning #VisualLearners. And for those who have trouble organizing their thoughts (raise your hand), mapping helps to visually build links from one topic to another. WE MUST WARN YOU, it can be difficult to create a map while you’re engaging in the lesson, so this method is ideal for that after-class organizational time (pairs great with a nice cabernet.) Here’s an example.

SQR4 Notes.. No this is not a Stars Wars Character

Yeah, that’s a silly name… but it stands for the steps in the process. This method is really designed to help you retain knowledge from your readings. Break them down? You shouldn’t have asked!

Survey: Skim and sift through your readings, and write down the subheads, topics, and other relevant info.

Questions: After your survey, think about any questions that you might have about the reading.

Here comes the 4 Rs…

Read: Section by section, thoroughly read the text, and keep your #EagleEye on alert for answers to any of the questions that you wrote down.

Recite: Repetitive much? Exactly the point… Write down all of the major headlines/ key points that you already found. The process of repeating helps you retain the information and become a #StarLearner.

Relate: Think about all of the topics you just read about. What can you relate them to in the #RealWorld? We’re sure you can think of more than a few…

Review: Yeah, here comes the repetitiveness again. Reread everything, make sure nothing was missed and take this time to soak in all of the wonderful concepts you just learned about.

Isn’t Note Taking Badass?

We know that there is probably tons of sh*t going on in your world, and that means that note-taking isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Well, we get it, we’re here for you and want to see you succeed. Do we even need to mention that we offer a ton of products that help you to #StepUpYourNoteTakingGame? Ok, we’ll mention it… Check out some of these tools that are designed for organization and #Exceptional note-taking.

Ok, one more thing… Love ya mean it!

Related Articles