Tag Archives: Arc Notebook

First Week!

Ok, so the first week of the semester is always busy.  Homework, and getting back into the routine of getting up at the crack of dawn to go to get to class on time.  I didn’t get all of my class syllabi in time to plan my semester before it started.  So, I am playing catch up.  However, it allows for me to take more pictures, and slow down a bit as I go.

So, in order to plan, I go through a single syllabus at a time when planning the semester.  This way, my brain has a single focus, and I can ensure I don’t miss any deadlines for the class.  I always color coordinate my classes.  This year the code goes like this:  German- blue, Physics- pink, Calculus- orange, Computer Programming- green.  I make sure I have proper amounts of sticky notes in these colors as well as page flags.  So, basically by the end of my Semester planning session, the monthly layouts are covered in sticky notes before I ever put pen to paper.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As you can see, I chose to use the peach vertical planner this year.  It was so hard for me to decide.  I thought about rotating through ALL of the colors, but I wasn’t sure I’d like that too much.  I might try it eventually.  I sometimes get bored easily.  However, since I decorate my planner, I really don’t worry much about most of the color.

So, this weekend, my project is to ink and place planner stickers on the important monthly dates on what is due.  I will then add these to my assignment lists, both my master list and my individual class lists in order to keep track.  From there, I will keep a project planner in order to keep track of progress on each major assignment and exam.  As I do this I will keep track and post the photos on instagram if you are curious.  Follow me @coffeeconfessor to see more!

Advertisements

Note Taking 101

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Note taking is an important part of going back to college.  Whether one uses a computer or paper, it is important to learn to summarize as one goes and then re-write the notes after class.  While I don’t record all of my class lectures, I do record lectures from my harder classes.  If the class is more visually based, I have been known to set up my computer to record the lecture through its camera while I take notes by hand.  I recommend taking notes more by hand than I do via computer when in the classroom because it allows the brain to be engaged more than typing words on a screen.  I do tend to re-write my notes on a computer just to organize them after each chapter.  There is no one way to take notes.  In fact, depending on the teaching style and type of class, my note structure changes.  In my math classes, I tend to use a draw it out method.  In classes where I have professors who do what I call tangential-popcorn lectures (jumping from different topics and then going back) I use a mind mapping technique.  In anatomy I used a specific printout I created that was a Cornell method hybrid.

Basic Cornell notes work for classes that rely heavily on lecture.  How it is set up is that the paper is divided into three part:  a small skinny part for questions/verbal cues/vocabulary, the larger part for outline-type notes, and then a bottom section for a summary of the lecture.  These types of notes are good for teachers who are linear.  They are also good for book notes.  I used a type of hybrid of this type for my Anatomy and Physiology class.  The front was an entire page to write outline notes.  The back of the page has a place for summary, key points, key words, and a place to draw things out (ATP cycle, muscle types, tissue types, cell types, etc.).  If you have a class that is heavily visual with processes or concepts, these are the types of notes one should use.  Note taking is highly individual.  It is why when you ask for someone else’s notes from class, you may or may not understand them.  However, having a semblance of organization helps if you are letting someone borrow your class notes.  I rarely gave out my organized notes because I felt that if I did all the work, someone else shouldn’t benefit.  Also, when it came to my note taking I used specific colors for lecture notes, book notes, and clarified questions I had were all on that topic’s notes.  So in the end, my unorganized notes were three different colors before I typed them up.  It really helped for exams and quizzes.

Most people will tell you to read your book before class.  I say skim the chapter to get an idea of what is going to be talked about.  Make sure you write down any immediate questions that pop out.  During the lecture, as they get answered make note of this.  If questions aren’t answered, then ask them in class.  Then go back and summarize the lecture notes—pulling out key concepts.  Only after that do I go back to the book and read/take notes from the book.  Sometimes books are wrong—it is a fact of life.  I had a book in a class that we barely used because of information that was wrong/out of date.  So, remember to make note if the professor says that something is supposed to be the way he/she teaches it and not what is in the book.

So below are some print outs for note taking that I use.  I don’t have a mind map yet, I tend to just wing it on plain paper.  If you want me to make one just drop me a line!  Remember that these are for personal use only, so please do not try to sell them.  Also, direct people to my website as opposed to giving them the direct link for this and all other printables that I have created.  I hope you enjoy them!

Here is a copy of Plain Cornell Notes

Here is a copy of my Plain Hybrid Cornell Notes

Here is a copy of my decorated notes:   Decorated Hybrid Cornell   Decorated Cornell Notes

Here is a copy of the printout I use for Math

Tour de Planner

So, today, I will be talking about my personal planner.  It is something that I cannot 20160507_102509live without.  It allows me to keep everything organized (due dates, exams, quizzes, lectures, cancelled classes, etc.).  I use this like another part of my body.  I am lost when I don’t have it.  It seems silly to say that, but my planner is everything.

I have tried so many different premade planners, and I have found that none fit me in every way.  The Arc Notebook System from Staples has become something of a blessing because I change my mind on planners so much.  I also use my Arc for my notes and school stuff, not just my planner.  I like to have all of my information at hand in one place.  It is great because I can pull things out of my planner and put other things in at a whim.  I create my own planner inserts, 20160507_102738 (2).jpgbecause I can hybrid what I like between several types of planners into one single planner.  Since my needs are constantly changing, my planner also constantly is changing.

At the moment, you can see that I have adopted the vertical planner method.  I love the look of it, and I feel that it works really well because I have the boxes divided up as morning, afternoon, and evening.  I decided to try this particular method because the horizontal planner wasn’t working for me.  This specific type that you see in my post still 20160507_102603(0)is only a working copy.  I plan on adding a chronodex at the bottom this summer to see how it works out.  I stumbled across this particular little gem while browsing bullet journals on Pinterest.  It is a good way to glimpse a day’s schedule without perusing the entire day’s entries.

I kept looking at the Erin Condren Life Planner, and they are awesome.  However, I can tell by looking at them, that they didn’t fit 100% of what I was looking for.  As 20160507_102610beautiful as they are, I can’t bring myself to spend that kind of money on something that isn’t going to work completely.  So, I created something similar (not exact, mind you, but something similar that kind of works for me).  I love the colors of the Erin Condren, but they weren’t going to work for me.  I have found that since I color code and decorate my planner with printables from websites, I feel that grey is the best option for me.  It is pretty boring without decorations, so I am compelled to decorate my planner.  In the future, I will post my go-to places for free printables, and there are a TON!  I think I have a list of 20-ish?  Also, there are really cute stickers at Etsy as well (being the poor college student I am, I rely on mostly freebies and ones I make myself).

So, these are just the past few weeks of my planner and how they look.  At the end of the semester, there are classes that get cancelled and stuff gets shifted around.  Sometimes I even get stuff done before hand, and I don’t post it in my weekly layout.

Download my 2016 planner here!  For personal use only!!  Do not alter this and call it your own please, this was work I did and thought I’d be nice and share with everyone since I get asked where I get my planners and note pages.  If you like it drop me a line/tweet (@CoffeeConfessor).  Let me know if you have any requests or ideas, I will put it in my queue to do!