Is Note Taking a Waste of Time?


Whether you are a student attending a lecture, a consultant listening to the client’s requirements, or an employee attending a seminar you might have thought to take notes at some point. But the real question is whether those notes are going to be useful or if note-taking is a waste of your time.

Just filling papers or using notetaking apps like Evernote and filling the notebooks with what you are hearing is not the best way to take notes. So, note-taking can be a waste of time unless you are using proper note-taking strategies.

What notes are a waste of your time?

is note taking a waste of time

If you are taking notes from some slides or writing down everything that the presenter says like a robot, then probably note-taking is a waste of time. Taking notes while your mind is distracted is a waste of your time. These are the bad note-taking habits that most students have.

It is a grey area, but if you keep writing down notes on paper or an app like Evernote or OneNote, you would have a hard time processing the information being delivered to you.

Better Note Taking without Wasting Time

Notes should always come from actively listening and engaging with the content and should be written in your own words to make sense later on. There are several note-taking strategies you could use for effective note-taking.

Here are some of the best tips that you can use to make your notes worthy of your time.

  • Find out more about different note-taking strategies available and pick one suitable for you.
  • Use note-taking tools to take notes – note-taking apps such as Evernote can be much more effective than pen and paper.
  • Actively listen to the presenter or teacher – don’t focus too much on writing things down.
  • Write important things once they come to your mind – don’t focus too much on organizing your notes at first.
  • Don’t write paragraphs – use bullet points if possible and keep it short.
  • After taking down the notes try to categorize them and highlight what is important if needed.
  • Put the categories in order to make more sense of your notes – this would come in handy when you are preparing for exams later on.

Conclusion – Is Note Taking a Waste of Time?

Note-taking is an essential skill that everyone must have. However, if not done properly taking notes can be an utter waste of time. Note-taking strategies and actively participating in class while taking notes can help make better notes which will come in handy in a later date.

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