7 Helpful Books For Improving Your Note-Taking Skills

Last Updated on October 5, 2023 by Editorial Team

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The human mind is exposed to multiple sources of information. As the mind processes information, it is easy to forget something you might have thought of in the middle of a busy task. That’s when the importance of note-taking comes into the picture! Note-taking revolves around the idea of recording information from various platforms. Whether you are a student, a business professional, or in a creative field, note-taking skills help you understand the information in a crystal clear manner.

Note-taking is a critical skill as it eliminates the need to recall information whenever you visit a subject of interest. The basic aim of note-taking is to identify the key ideas and concepts so individuals can create a relationship between thoughts. Note-taking can be done through systematic formats. Note-taking books highlight the main ways and ideas and explain to individuals the right paths to increase productivity and boost creative thinking skills. 

Note-taking: The times it becomes relevant

Note-taking is an important skill for parents, teachers, students, and adults. It can increase concentration and also improve memory-building skills for individuals. Whether you are into a corporate job or a homemaker, note-taking skills go a long way in multiple fields. 

  • Note-taking improves concentration and focus as individuals tend to feel distracted during verbal communication or meetings.
  • Note-taking also helps improve memory and also helps individuals resolve complex problems, outlines the research[1].
  • Note-taking improvises attentional processes and also leads to greater learning of new concepts, research[2] suggests.
  • When individuals take notes and jot down points, ideas and suggestions can instantly strike as they put thought into writing.
  • Note-taking also saves time as one can always go back to the core idea and be on the same track to meet expectations.
  • With note-taking, research[3] suggests it is easy to recall vital information or procedures discussed in any given situation.
  • Note-taking is essentially advantageous to students as they understand concepts, make notes, and then go back to the same information with better understanding due to writing important points.
  • Prioritizing skills are also enhanced by note-taking as individuals know the priority of tasks, their approximate completion time, and the deadline to complete them.
  • As the human mind cannot remember each piece of information, note-taking helps business owners, teachers, and adults comprehend information in a structured manner.

Interesting books about note-taking skills

Note-taking can be a calming process as it involves structuring and organizing information. These books do a great job of making you understand the art of note-taking. They also display tips and tricks to ace the skill.

1. The Art of Visual Notetaking: An interactive guide to visual communication and sketching

The Art of Visual Notetaking: An interactive guide to visual communication and sketchnoting

You must have known the basic method of taking notes with pen and paper. However, this book changes the game by providing valuable information on visual notetaking. Emily Mills, the author, comprehends the importance and benefits of visual notetaking.

Visual notetaking does not require being good at drawing or extreme creative skills. The book is a classic example of visually capturing information through basic shapes, lines, and connectors. The book offers information on different techniques of note-taking along with various tutorials.

Visual note-taking can be learned from this book and applied during meetings, conferences, or academic lectures. The book offers key concepts and focal points of note-taking with vital data and attractive illustrations. Individuals get an opportunity to comprehend ideas in a visually representative manner by learning about shapes, symbols, and common pictorial representations.

2. How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning, and Thinking

How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning, and Thinking

This book is a delight for beginners and experts who wish to enhance their understanding of note-taking. Sonke Arhens, the book’s author, comprehends the importance of intelligent and organized note-taking to strengthen understanding of concepts. 

The book is based on a psychological insight that works on the note-taking technique called Zettelkasten. This book is great for academics, adults, and creative writers; it also offers valuable insights into thinking, comprehending, and working on freshly developed ideas. The book emphasizes the importance of adding valuable insights while making notes and smartly eliminating content noise.

In this manner, individuals can learn to only note the vital pieces of information and eliminate junk to formulate better ideas. 

3. Effective Note Taking

Effective Note Taking

Written by Dr. Fiona McPherson, this book is essentially crucial for college students and teachers. The author believes in effective note-taking; hence, she lays down multiple strategies to take notes and be a smart individual.

The book highlights the important parts of reading and taking notes from the reading session. The author explains the usage of headings, fonts, pictorial representations, and highlighting. The book also offers note-taking ideas for preparing a lecture and how teachers can note prominent discussion points.

As most individuals struggle with systematically organizing their notes, the book offers advice on learning styles and applying strategies to solve problems through note-taking. Such a book offers practical knowledge to students and individuals, comprehensively helping them follow the right note-taking strategies.

4. Taking Minutes of Meetings: How to Take Efficient Notes that Make Sense and Support Meetings That Matter

 Taking Minutes of Meetings: How to Take Efficient Notes that Make Sense and Support Meetings that Matter

Focused on business professionals, job seekers, and students aspiring to start their professional journey, this book is an excellent choice for understanding the importance of note-taking during meetings. Authored by Joanna Guttman, the book offers a comprehensive study and strategies to take effective notes of meetings. The book is crucial to understanding the way note-taking works during meetings.

It covers the primary aspects of setting the agenda, structuring the meeting, and setting the right environment. The book throws light on taking notes from particular sections of the meeting. It also offers great tips and advice to build credibility in the business zone. The book offers vital notetaking information during meetings and provides multiple exercises to practice and enrich the knowledge. 

5. Take Great Notes

Take Great Notes

An interesting and short book that shows the effective ways of note-taking. It focuses on the note-taking skills essential for school students or students stepping into universities. The book is written by Professor Mal Leicester, who has been involved in multicultural and moral education.

This book predominantly helps readers classify the importance of taking parts of notes. It specifically explains the crucial parts that should be noted without filling them with overloaded content. The book explains various notetaking methodologies and how each can be used in a given situation. These methods also depend on the readers, and readers get an opportunity to choose different note-taking methods to understand their benefits.

With illustrations and strategies, the book offers information on formatting notes and polishing skills for taking notes in lectures. As the book is short and sweet, readers can find it easy to complete the reading session within a week. It also helps readers improvise their journaling skills through structuring information.

6. How to Take Great Notes Quickly and Easily: A Very Easy Guide 

How to Take Great Notes Quickly and Easily: A Very Easy Guide 

This is an interesting book that helps individuals avoid several mistakes generally made while taking notes. Authored by John Connelly, the book throws light on the secret of receiving important information from every session, lecture, or meeting.

It contains the general mistakes made by individuals along with better solutions to become an effective note-taker. The book is your go-to option if you wish to learn the Cornell Method of note-taking. It also emphasizes the usage of mind maps to improve the process of converting information into notes. Attractive illustrations help individuals understand the basic difference between good and bad notes.

Overall, the book offers a complete guide on the note-taking process with various techniques, tips, and tricks. Along with organization ideas for notes, individuals get a free book on How to Study with this one.

7. Note-Taking Skills For Exam Success: How To Take Smart Visual Notes And Become An A-Student

Note Taking Skills For Exam Success: How To Take Smart Visual Notes And Become An A-Student

While this book is directed at students, the book is helpful for individuals who wish to recall and revise the information processed via meetings or during presentations. The book is written by Jonnie Tanya. 

With creative graphical representation and illustrations, the fun shows easy instructions to take notes. The book is useful to understand 5 different strategies on note taking which is beneficial for individuals who wish to expand their knowledge by implementing each strategy in any given situation.

Individuals get to understand the difference between the main idea, supporting ideas, problems, and solutions. The book provides an opportunity to categorize information in an organized manner. The book offers knowledge on adding icons and images to give a visual appeal to notes. It helps individuals excel at taking notes directed at achieving results.

To sum up…

Note-taking is an essential skill that helps individuals succeed in their respective fields. When you can jot down information in a structured manner, you will likely remember it throughout a specific project or lecture. Note-Taking apps, flashcards, and activities also help brush this skill. It is also an advantageous option for budding creative writers, novelists, and nonfiction writers. 

The above-mentioned books are a combination of books that serve different purposes to a wide array of audiences. While some books are short, some are comprehensive with tips, techniques, and note-taking tools. As books offer diverse benefits and perspectives, individuals can test and try methodologies to best understand the process that fits well for them.


  1. Bernard, F., & Piolat, A. (2005). Note Taking and Learning: A summary of research. The WAC Journal, 16(1), 101–113. https://doi.org/10.37514/wac-j.2005.16.1.08
  2. Carrier, C. A., & Titus, A. (1979). The effects of notetaking: A review of studies. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 4(4), 299-314. https://doi.org/10.1016/0361-476X(79)90050-X

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