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Notetaking for Technical Content

Take a look at the following examples of student notes and jot down your thoughts on the following questions:

  1. What stands out about these examples?
  2. What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?
  3. What do you want to emulate in your own notes?

Table of Content Example

Image from iOS

Notes Example 1

Image from iOS (3)

Notes Example 2

Image from iOS (1)

Notes Example 3

Image from iOS (2)

Notes Example 4

vocab

Notes Example 5

redux

Notes Example 6

asynch

Notes Example 7

troll

Tips for Technical Notetaking @ Turing

While everyone has their own style that works for them, here are some key findings we've distilled from our most successful students. We recommend implementing these strategies as you prepare for Turing and throughout Mod 0!

Setup is a key to success

Having an organization strategy can make it easier to use your notes as a tool. We recommend creating a Table of Contents to make it easier to reference your notes. Also, taking notes on key vocabulary BEFORE a lesson has been useful for some students!

Use different colors

This can help with modeling syntax highlighting, making notes easier to read, and help draw attention to different content. We are big fans of fine tip drawing pens such as these.

Leave plenty of whitespace

Having a lot of whitespace in your notebook allows you to add more context, write questions, make connections. If you are ever in doubt as to whether to cram more info on the page or start a new page in your notebook, ALWAYS go for starting a new page!

Draw and diagram often

Many concepts can be difficult to understand with just words, use drawings/diagrams to help synthesize and frame information

Pen + Paper > Digital (During Class)

We STRONGLY recommend using a paper notebook during class and advise you to not rely on taking notes on your computer during class! It can be really difficult to keep up with the pace of the lessons using a computer AND it makes it really hard to diagram/draw tricky concepts. Plus, studies have proven that you will retain more information by physically writing your notes. Remember, you will have access to all of the lesson plans ahead of time so that you aren't pressured to write everything down as it is presented!

Consider transposing your written notes to a digital format

One strategy we've seen work well for students is to dedicate 20-30 minutes each day to reviewing their written notes and transposing them to their preferred digital notetaking tool. This helps to engrain the content you covered that day and allows time to think of connections or ask questions. One benefit of having notes in a digital format is that it allows for easier searching of key terms and concepts using built-in searching tools. Some of our favorite note taking apps are Notion, Evernote, Bear and even Google Docs. Some of these require you to write in a language known as Markdown, which you will get a lot of practice with in Mod 0!

Setting Up Your Notebook

You will be needing to take notes on several of the other activities prior to Mod 0 so we reccommend you take some time to setup your notebook before continuing on to other activities. If you can afford it, we recommend getting a separate notebook for each module. Most likely, you can use one notebook for both Mod 0 and Mod 1!

@nlj77
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nlj77 commented Feb 24, 2022

What stands out about these examples?
The use of diagrams, multiple colors, and dates were what immediately stood out to me. The highlighting, and different color notes on notes, took me a second read.

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?
Multiple colors will be interesting and a struggle to incorporate, even though I see the benefit. I'm personally not a fan of the vertical writing in the margin, but its use as a labeling system could be valuable.

What do you want to emulate in your own notes?
I really want to start to use dates and diagrams in my notes. I think those kind of self constructed visual guides could be really useful in remembering a subject or topic.

@INguyen22
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INguyen22 commented Feb 26, 2022

1, what stands out about the examples?

  • Organized and neat, some notes had side annotations that clarified certain things
    2, what did you notice that you may not have considered for your own notes?
  • diagraming and using different colors to highlight certain vocabulary words.
    3, what do you want to emulate in your own notes?
  • i hope to emulate the diagrams some students have used to represent certain concepts as they can show how certain ideas work vs others.

@abbyluce
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abbyluce commented Mar 1, 2022

What stands out about these examples?
Use of color to visually divide up the information, the organization of each section, cleanliness of handwriting, annotations throughout.
What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?
The use of a Table of Contents to quickly be able to reference back to previous note sections. I also bought a package of different colored pens after viewing these examples because I like how the colors divide up the information and keep it easy to follow.
What do you want to emulate in your own notes?
Organization
I like how easy it seems to reference back to previous note sections
The use of diagrams to visually explain concepts

@easachs
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easachs commented Mar 3, 2022

What stands out about these examples?
Organization, planning and penmanship to help flow and readability of notes, extra spacing, color coding, clear diagrams, use of indentation for notes' structure, using the sides of the page to annotate notes

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?
Table of contents, use of upper/lower case, and the use of side annotations

What do you want to emulate in your own notes?
These notes are significantly more organized and well planned than mine tend to be, an important reminder to make my notes clean and practical

@Ant-Shell
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Ant-Shell commented Mar 5, 2022

What stands out about these examples?
The table of contents, organization of clear and concise notes, color-coding and diagrammed examples of vocabulary words stood out the most to me.

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?
Mainly the table of contents and elegant page usage; my notes tend to be "all over the place".

What do you want to emulate in your own notes?
Everything; I will be referring to this page before, during and after my own note-taking, in order to improve.

@aspitz1
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aspitz1 commented Mar 10, 2022

What stands out about these examples?
Neatly using color, negative space, font size, graphs and illustrations to define things like importance, subject and relation.

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?
The illustrated graphs where the big thing that stood out to me. I also try to cram way to much on my page, something these notes where definitely not doing.

What do you want to emulate in your own notes?
I want to use more styles, like I listed in the examples of what stood out, in my notes. I'll also try using a digital platform to transcribe my notes into. I think I'll benefit from reviewing my notes while transcribing them and I'll like the additional searchability.

@carissagross
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carissagross commented Mar 12, 2022

What stands out about these examples?: The first 5 pages of note examples are the easiest for me to read and digest. Having different colors / negative space / some graphics make it easy to navigate and keep it organized

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?: The table of contents with page numbers is amazing!

What do you want to emulate in your own notes?: I want to use more colors and transcribe my notes into digital form which will help me review and retain material.

@dsweeny1
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dsweeny1 commented Mar 14, 2022

What stands out about these examples?

There's a lot of graphs and diagrams. Everything is very orderly, from the table of contents, to the glossary, to the diagrams.

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?

The drawn out diagrams are something I may not have considered doing but definitely will now.

What do you want to emulate in your own notes?

I plan on doing a glossary before each class now, as well as creating more in depth diagrams that are color coded.

@rschlereth
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rschlereth commented Mar 17, 2022

What stands out about these examples?

How each example structures the notes in a different fashion. Some are similar but others stray a bit (like the one with the monster and the latter ones that seem a bit too clustered).

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?

Graphical diagrams.

What do you want to emulate in your own notes?

I'm already fond of using different colors, but I could employ them better. I will definitely place greater emphasis on diagramming as well.

@b-shears
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b-shears commented Mar 20, 2022

What stands out about these examples?

The table of contents so notes of specific topics can be found. Also the use of different colors to match how the code is actually written

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?

The drawing of pictures is something I rarely have done in the past. It really helps explain concepts well.

What do you want to emulate in your own notes?

I will be using different colors, creating a table of contents, and drawing diagrams to explain concepts.

@stephanieguzm
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stephanieguzm commented Mar 20, 2022

  1. What stands out about these examples? Color is used to organize content and diagrams are created to conceptualize key ideas and concepts.
  2. What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes? The format of the notebook you use can help you organize your work. Building in this structure beforehand will be key to help organize my notes.
  3. What do you want to emulate in your own notes? Using colored pens, drawing diagrams for concepts, and setting up my notebooks with a table of contents. Also building in time after each session to review notes, digitize them, and add to them as needed.

@Crpearce
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Crpearce commented Mar 22, 2022

What stands out about these examples? what stands out to me is the use of color to organize and conceptualize different topics in your notes
What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes? using a table of contents to organize, drawing diagrams, and also using different colors is all something i think could help me organize things that I have not typically used
What do you want to emulate in your own notes? using a table of contents, legible handwriting, and also using colored pens are all things I plan to use

@dstavis
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dstavis commented Mar 22, 2022

  1. What stands out about these examples?
    I'm noticing the structure of the page, the economic size and cleanliness of the handwriting, the color and quality art and diagrams.

  2. What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?
    I noticed they used doodles and brackets and so on to organize concepts spatially.

  3. What do you want to emulate in your own notes?
    I'd love to emulate anything that these note-takers do, but realistically I imagine they've been building these habits and skills over years...whereas I switched from writing by hand to exclusively typing years ago. If I were to attempt to emulate them, I expect it would require an investment in building new skills and habits that I would be unlikely to succeed at without tutoring and that could become a side-project that could distract me from the actual content of Turing's curriculum. I don't think physical note-taking of this quality is a realistic ask for me. My best chance at taking notes during Turing is probably using Microsoft One Note, which I already use, typing any text that I think I should include and learning to change the font color where appropriate, and potentially using One Note on a tablet (I have an iPad) to draw lines, shapes, or sketches if it feels vital to do so. In terms of building a habit around doing that...it would probably help if I talked to someone at Turing for tips, and also proposed it as a goal to my ADHD coach. Building that habit will require overcoming my ADHD symptoms that I can already predict would get in the way- I would have to schedule a regular time in which to write or review notes, convince myself that sticking to that time is actually important enough for me to make the sacrifices necessary to do it, and spend time establishing familiarity with the techniques of using One Note's interface for my intended purposes.

Note-taking is a skill in the same way that programming is, and I can't expect to succeed at it without feedback on how I'm doing so far. I think it would be wise of me to ask an instructor or teacher's assistant to look at my notes once I've taken some and tell me what I did well or where I could be doing something differently for better results.

@GOECHA
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GOECHA commented Mar 22, 2022

  1. What stands out about these examples?

Most of the examples are color coded.
The diagrams are unique to the writer and shows how their mind organizes learning.
Some notes look like a wall of text, compared to others that are listed out.

  1. What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?

Leaving space for additional comments as the information is processed while learning.

  1. What do you want to emulate in your own notes?

I like the color coding and titles.
I would like to set up my notes by creating spaces with titles for the next subject.
Setting a plan before the next class helps set up for success; when learning at a fast pace.

@DinneK
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DinneK commented Mar 22, 2022

What stands out about these examples?
Everything was organized in advance: Table of contents was setup, color coding was used. Plenty of white space was left and graphs were implemented. Nothing was one size fits all, each individual had a take that worked for him/her/them.

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?
The use of a table of contents, color coding and leaving plenty of white space. I want to remember not to jam everything on to a single page.

What do you want to emulate in your own notes?
The table of contents. The use of color. Leaving plenty of white space, to make the content easier to navigate and will allow me to add or edit things as needed.

@jrmedina
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jrmedina commented Apr 1, 2022

What stands out about these examples?
Some of these examples have been dated and edited.
Most of the examples with diagrams seem more understandable.
The space given between each topic allowed for post notes to be added.

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?
Dating my notes as well as well as adding a table of contents.
Leaving a space for questions I had/have to ask later.

What do you want to emulate in your own notes?
I would strive to keep my notes as organized and spaced out as well as using diagrams that make sense to me and help me remember certain concepts. Converting my notes to digital form will allow me to remap and reorganize so the rest of my Mod notes become uniform.

@jusrez
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jusrez commented Apr 4, 2022

What stands out about these examples?

  • The color coding is helpful in adding additional notes to help contextualize examples of lines of code.

  • They don't all use the same organizational strategy, but they are all clear and easy to understand.

  • One of the examples includes a glossary for (what seems like) commonly used phrases/terms.

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?

  • I've never used color coding to prescribe certain meaning to different blocks of notes. It looks like it would be helpful and may allow me to commit certain concepts to memory better if it's color coded.
    What do you want to emulate in your own notes?
  • Incorporating a table of contents will be very useful since it's likely I'll need to constantly reference older notes in order to better understand newer concepts and it's more time efficient to know what page to flip to.
  • I've never been great at drawing, but using simple diagrams to express the relationship between two concepts will help make learning the material (or recalling it) a lot easier.

@NickLiggett
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NickLiggett commented Apr 4, 2022

What stands out about these examples?
The use of different colors for different concepts!

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?
Using a table of contents with the respective dates the notes were taken.

What do you want to emulate in your own notes?
I want to have notes that are organized and clearly represent core concepts necessary to succeed.
Also I'd love to be able to draw the "local storage string troll."

@nikkyrojas
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nikkyrojas commented Apr 5, 2022

What stands out about these examples?

  • What stand out to me is the organization. The color coding also seems very convenient since it can make it easier to locate a specific word word.

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?

  • Having a table of content can also be very convenient when trying to review/find something from a previous lesson. Placing key words and page number for easy reference is a great idea. I am going to add that to my notes as well.

What do you want to emulate in your own notes?

  • I would like for my own notes to be very organized so that i can navigate through them with ease. Assuming that a lot of the notes will probably be referenced often i want them to be neat and durable. I believe a binder with paper protectors would be a good investment.

@allison-hemzacek
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allison-hemzacek commented Apr 5, 2022

  1. What stood out to me in the examples above were:
  • The visual ease when reading or skimming through, specifically due to the layout, spacing, and color-coding
  • How much drawing/diagraming there is considering the content is all technical
  1. What I noticed that I have not considered doing in my own notes are:
  • The page setup in examples 1-3, specifically the blank column on the far right side of the page, designating a space to indicate what content you need more practice with/information about, what questions you have, or material that is important to focus on when reviewing
  • Using the entire page to demonstrate a cyclical concept in depth, instead of using lots of footnotes (example 5)
  1. What I want to emulate in my own notes are:
  • Using a table of contents, I always forget how easy it makes referencing specific content when going back at a later date
  • Using a more color-coded system and grouping design (i.e. boxing, underlining/highlighting, drawing arrows) to organize my notes

@jonathanmpope
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jonathanmpope commented Apr 9, 2022

1 - What stands out about these examples?

  • Text is easy to read
  • Topics are organized
  • Color is used to make it easier to read / understand different components

2 - What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?

  • Table of contents
  • Use of highlighters to focus on specific text / headlines
  • Whitespace to make it more readable

3 - What do you want to emulate in your own notes?

  • Table of contents / page numbers
  • White space
  • Colors to differentiate types of info

@vfields
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vfields commented Apr 19, 2022

What stands out about these examples?

  • The difference between traditional vs. technical notetaking, namely through the amount of whitespace, the color coding, and the visual diagrams
  • The table of contents also stands out, I've never created one for notes before!

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?

  • Definitely the table of contents as well as the focus on whitespace

What do you want to emulate in your own notes?

  • Color coding
  • Whitespace
  • Visual diagrams
  • Table of contents
  • Vocabulary prework

@coleanthony1990
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coleanthony1990 commented May 9, 2022

What stands out about these examples?

  • Table of contents stands out. I never thought to do that for myself in college.
  • Use of color and diagrams helps to quickly access and understand complicated thoughts

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?

  • Table of contents and use of various colors.

What do you want to emulate in your own notes?

  • Use of space and leaving white space for post-facto notes.
  • Table of Contents.
  • Use of different colors and diagrams.
  • Vocab work.

I have always been very "listicle-y" with my notes so this has very helpful hints.

@ashuhleyt
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ashuhleyt commented May 10, 2022

What stands out about these examples? They draw my attention to them, and are organized in a way I can easily follow.
What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes? Table of contents! Genius.
What do you want to emulate in your own notes? Diagrams, heavily. I am a visual learner, and seeing what we are doing laid out in a visual way will fully help me understand better.

@knestler
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knestler commented May 10, 2022

What stands out about these examples?

  • the table of contents
  • the colors
  • the penmanship and organization of notes

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?

  • the table of contents. I've never thought of doing that and it's something i could have been using for years!

What do you want to emulate in your own notes?

  • how visual these are. Concepts are great if you know how to apply them and visuals can be really helpful reminders

@rebeckahendricks
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rebeckahendricks commented May 12, 2022

  1. All of these examples use color with purpose, use diagrams that make sense to the owner, are neat and readable, and are not too crowded.
  2. Transposing my notes to digital format - I would not have considered this initially because of the extra time it would take, but I can definitely see the payoff.
  3. I would like to emulate everything I mentioned in 1) - intentional use of color, diagrams that make sense to me, keep them neat and readable and use my whitespace with purpose.

@ohClaire
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ohClaire commented May 25, 2022

  1. The notes are clean and organized, key concepts are highlighted or underlined, there are pages pages dedicated to Table of Contents or definition for keywords.
  2. The notes are easy to follow because of the use of colors. I would like to use more of this in my notes to emphasize important facts or ideas. Transposing the notes to digital form would make it easier for me to go over the notes and find key concepts I want to review in the future.
  3. I want to emulate better organization and note taking skills by capturing what is important using key words with short, concise description. I also want to give myself plenty of space for me to go back through my notes and expand if needed.

@alyciacan
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alyciacan commented May 26, 2022

What stands out about these examples?
Table of contents, color-coding (which I already use), frequent illustrations, neatness, organization.

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?
Table of contents, illustrations, transposing to digital, leaving lots of white space.

What do you want to emulate in your own notes?
All of the above! I was a meticulous note-taker in high school, which really helped me memorize content. I'm glad to see these ideas and will plan to incorporate them!

@RyanChrisSmith
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RyanChrisSmith commented Jun 1, 2022

What stands out about these examples?
The color coding and organization seems to be key. It really helps to tie the concepts together by similar subjects, titles, etc versus the notes themselves.

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?
I dont know why, but it has never occurred to me to make a table of contents page. Its brilliant! I will definitely be using that method.

What do you want to emulate in your own notes?
The table of contents as mentioned above, but also I want to take the time to go back and rewrite my notes with the color coding to help clean up the visual as I am sure the material will be packed with detail. Anything I can do to help me visually and mentally will be great!

@ajpulzone
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ajpulzone commented Jun 6, 2022

What stands out about these examples?
The table of contents helps you locate the information you are looking for much faster. The color coding made it much easier for me to teach different portions of information on the page/interpret different pathways of thought.

What did you notice that you may not have considered in your own notes?
Using the a specific margin space to note what you would like to practice more/what you are struggling to understand. This seems helpful to use as a reminder at the end of a lesson to go back and see which areas/topics were more difficult and need more practice.
Using diagrams with color coding within

What do you want to emulate in your own notes?
1.) Utilizing a table of contents in order to find information faster
2.) Margin notes to as reminders to practice certain things/more time learning
3.) Embracing vocabulary sections for each mod/lesson. This is a very new arena for me so I am unfamiliar with many terms.

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