Archive for the 'Note Taking' Category

Don’t take notes on your laptop or tablet

I know some people think I am “old school” when it comes to taking notes with pen and paper, after all, it’s 2015…

But all I care about is – RESULTS.

A recent article extols the benefits of taking notes with pen and paper and NOT on your laptop or tablet.

I admit, I am biased. I have 5 university degrees, all completed in record time. I am a speed reader. All I care about is learning quickly and remembering as much as I can.

I am a HUGE fan of technology (I have been using Macs/Apples before they became trendy 25 years ago). I do “everything” on my beloved MacBook Air and 27″ iMac Desktop… Except take notes when it’s important and I want to learn something new.

I do that on paper and with a pen – using MindMapping principles.

If you are a Millenial or younger, I can already hear the sighs of disagreement. All I can say is – SEE FOR YOURSELF.

Take one subject and take ALL your notes on your laptop and take another SIMILAR subject and take all your notes with pen and paper.

YOU decide which one produces better results:

  • Which one is quicker, easier?
  • Creates better retention/memory/recall?
  • Produces the best grades – with the least amount of effort.

Then stick to what works for YOU.

Chances are, it’s going to be pen and paper – you’ll have to accept that, or live with lower grades. Hmmm…..



Note Taking – how important is it?

The weakest ink is stronger that the strongest memory.

As The Exponential Growth Strategist, I present to audiences around the world. I reveal the most powerful and valuable insights for people who want to achieve extra-ordinary results. People pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to hear me speak and deliver my content. Content I have gathered and collected over the past 20+ years, information extracted from more than 1,000 books and 3,000 academic articles. Knowledge acquired via 5 university degrees…

And the thing that surprises me the most is that the vast majority of attendees do not take notes – the EXPECT to remember what I have said.

I can make a list of the 4 Keys To Success and within 10 minutes ask the audience to repeat them to me and THE ONLY ONES WHO CAN are the ones who took notes. How do the others ever expect to remember it the day after or a week later?

It baffles me.

Students of course take notes in class – BECAUSE they want to know what will be on the exam, but they usually don’t take them effectively – that’s why if you want to take the BEST notes possible, you need to switch to MindMapping To Get The Best Grades With The Least Amount Of Effort.

Note Taking, Student Notes, Class Notes, Lecture Notes

Thank you to John Weiss of Keymetric Business Solutions for mentioning this quote during my Blogging For Small Business Workshop, in Corona, California. An event sponsored by Allegra Corona and attended by VIP Mastermind Club Members.

How observant do you think you are? Take this quick visual test

We all think we’re observant, but you’d be surprised at how many details we miss on our first glance…

Take this quick visual test and see if you’re as observant as you think you are… Good luck!

Study Book gets feature product coverage on ClickBank

You might not know that Get The Best Grades With The Least Amount Of Effort is a top selling product on ClickBank, where billions of dollars of information and educational products are sold. Clickbank and its millions of affiliates make sure that great products get promoted and distributed worldwide. For example, my study book, speed reading and accelerated learning programs have been sold in more than 30 countries, with translations in 4 languages including English, French, Chinese and Romanian.

Thousands of students like you have used these strategies to get better grades with less effort. Why are you still struggling with exam stress, note taking or basic study habits when proven solutions exist and have been documented for your benefit?

Study Guide, How To Study, Study Tips, College Study Tips


Free Audio Book Sample

We recently announced the new Audio Book version of our bestselling study guide: Get The Best Grades With The Least Amount Of Effort. We’ve just uploaded the free sample to the product page and it’s yours for free, no opt-in or email required.

We believe you’ll realise you need to get it so you stop wasting countless hours studying for nothing when you could learn HOW to learn while taking the bus or walking to school.

There is no faster, easier way to learn these study tips. The MP3 files are compatible with your iPod, iMac, iPhone, iTunes, iPad and Windows Media Player.

Audio Book, Study Guide Audio, Study Tips

Get Better Grades Now

If you’ve been reading or have subscribed to this blog, then I am sure you’ve enjoyed the study tips I’ve revealed here – imagine getting the behind-the-scenes content… Hmmm…. Have a look at this 1-minute video that I just published…

College Study Tips

Click on the hypelink to get your hands on
How To Get The Best Grades With The Least Amount Of Effort

Mindmap To Improve Your Grades

As a reader or subscriber to this blog, you know I am a huge fan of MindMapping.

I used it as a student to collect and gather all my study notes before important tests and exams.

I now use it in business for all my strategic planning and as a visual tool for personal goal setting and journaling.

I teamed up with a fabulous artist – Paul Telling – to create a How To MindMap To get Better Grades Program. You can more about it by clicking on the hyperlink.

If you feel a little intimidated about drawing by hand, you can use a Digital Mindmapping Software that does it all for you – it works on Macs and PCs.

Believe it or not, Digital MindMapping Software can help you write essays and term papers faster than ever before by helping you capture more data, notes and information in one place. With one single view of everything you want to say in your essay or term paper, you can get down to writing with fewer edits.

After all, time is precious when you’re a student – so many deadlines and never enough time!

This is one study tool you simply can’t do without if you want to get a lot more done in less time.

Doodle Your Way To Better Grades

If you thought doodling was a waste of time – think again. This short 5-minute video reveals the creativity that lies hidden in all of us and how it can help you get better grades.

If you want to learn the ultimate in note taking skills – try MindMapping!

Doodling Can Help You Get Better Grades!

Taking notes is so 20th Century

Taking notes is so 20th Century now that we’ve discovered the incredible power of Mind Mapping. Even though it’s been around for several decades, only a very select few use it to become ‘super learners’.

The primary reason is that when asked, most people don’t think they are artistically gifted or talented.

Therein lies the #1 obstacle to effective MindMapping – thinking you need to create a masterpiece.

You don’t.

All you need to do is create VISUAL CUES for your mind to capture the relationships of the elements of the Mind Map. The more vivid and colourful, the better – BUT artistic prowess has NOTHING to do with your ability to recall it on your next exam or test.

For example, as a BASIC MINIMUM, if all you did was go through your notes (in your lined note book) and highlighted, underlined and/or circled the important elements you want to remember, I guarantee you you WILL remember more.

That is the starting point. Eventually, you want to get rid of the lines and MindMap on blank white paper.

Take a look at these student note taking samples to see how you can start the process.

But y’know what” there’s nothing like seeing it to believe it.

Have a look at this short YouTube video below to see what I mean.

Why my study tips work

I think you should watch this video, it’s only 3 minutes long and explains…

How and why my study techniques work

Learning Paradigms Video

This incredible video was sent to me by Ray Keefe of Successful Endeavours in Melbourne, Australia. What amazes me about it is how so much information can be captured in such a short period of time in such a compelling and dynamic way – its’ absolutely mesmerising don’t you think? It’s why my MindMapping course is so popular with students who want to cram for exams at the last minute.

Note Taking Examples

Peter sent me these… What do YOU think of them?

I’ll give my feedback once I get yours first

Give us your feedback by leaving a comment below.

Get Better Grades, Note Taking, Note Example

Note Taking - Sample #1 - Chapter 1 Summary

How do your class notes look compared to these?

Get Better Grades, Note Taking, Note Example

Note Taking - Sample #2 - MindMap Diagram

What suggestions do you have for Peter to improve his note taking?

Get Better Grades, Note Taking, Note Example

Note Taking - Sample #3 - Use Of Colour

Go from getting Ds to As THIS semester

Get Better Grades THIS Semester

Get Better Grades THIS Semester

When you buy my study book… In chapter 1, I am going to show you HOW you learn so that you can INSTANTLY improve your grades as of your next test, quiz or exam.

With a 100% Money-Back-Guarantee, you have nothing to lose except the A or B on your next test or exam.

I’d like to make it harder and more complicated, but the reality is that it’s quite simple and straightforward – When you know WHAT to do and HOW to do it. It’s all revealed in my study book.

2 Test Taking Tips

Today’s Post is from D.R. DeSilva. He wants a few clarifications on test taking tips.

Dear Sir,
I read the Get the best grades with the least amount of effort book and it was really cool.

So first up I Have Two questions to ask;

  1. When you are studying, you mentioned taking notes for every chapter. Therefore is it wise to create short notes when studying & if it’s so can you tell me what is the correct way of doing it or is there an alternative way of doing it?
  2. In terms of anchors, is it correct if I can use a neck chain while I am studying & as well as for my exams? So is that way of creating an anchor which is correct for an individual?

So Marc, if you mind me calling by your first name, if you don’t mind, I would appreciate if you can answer my following questions ASAP & I find you as a cool guy in particular.

Thanking You !
Yours Sincerely,

D.R Desilva.

First of all, these are great questions. So here are equally great answers!


Taking notes is covered in my study book, but one of the strategies I have expanded on is MindMapping. Mind Mapping is not only a quick and easy note taking method, but because of the VISUAL aspect, it’s a MUCH better way of taking notes than just summarising facts and figures in list form. I created an entire program with a MindMapping artist, Paul Telling, to teach you How To MindMap To Get Better Grades.


Anchors come in all shapes and sizes – you can use anything that helps you remember more when it counts – during exams and tests. Using a neck chain is a great idea EXCEPT that it’s not something that is ACTIVATED when you study if you have it on all the time. You would need to wear it ONLY when studying and when you write exams and tests to be an anchor.

An anchor MUST be ASSOCIATED visually, physically, auditorially, olfactorially (smell) or gustatorially (taste) for it to work. What I am NOT suggesting is that you become superstitious – that’s when it gets out of hand. You just want to TEST what anchors work and don’t work for you. You don’t want to create a psychological crutch that without it you’re ‘lost’.

There is a balance between using anchors and creating superstitions.

So there you have it, two great Test Taking Tips!

The Top 5 Best Study Tips

A lot of people have asked me what the top 5 best study tips are, here they are, in order.

  1. Learning your cognitive learning style (Chapter 1 of my study book)
  2. Speed Reading (click on the hyperlink for my speed reading course)
  3. MindMapping (click on the hyperlink to access my new program with visual artist Paul Telling)
  4. Exponential note taking (Chapter 4 of my study book called “How to write down everything the teacher says!)
  5. Reading before going to class (explained in my speed learning video program)

I would focus on acquiring these skills in this numerical order so that as you start to walk, you’ll be able to run by the time you get to #5.

Getting better grades is not hard, in fact it’s quite easy – when you know what to do and how to do it!

Being smart can make you stupid

A parent recently bought my study book for her 15 year old son. Despite his high IQ 120 (which actually could be as high as 143) he struggles with being “ADD non hyperactive”. She explains that it rears its head in the typical way, lack of focus, organisation, etc. His weakest areas are working memory, visual memory, sequencing and auditory processing. Skills like targeting sports, math and science CONCEPTS are learned easily. His superior reasoning skills are in the 95th percentile and work well for him except when the topic has many details, rules and/or he is not interested in learning them.

Because he learns concepts quickly, he is overly confident (wrongly) thinking that he has learned it all, so he takes few notes.

He also has a writing deficiency, which combined with poor working memory makes it difficult to take notes and keep up with what’s being presented. As a result, details fall to the wayside and no longer exist as something that he must know. So he is convinced that
he knows the material and does not need to study. He used to do OK in earlier grades that required less detail retention and recall,but now he is failing courses that intellectually he should have no problem with.

The question the mother asked was:

“How can he apply the 80/20 concept when he doesn’t think there is a 20 percent that he doesn’t know and thinks he has it 100 percent down?”

One word – MindMapping.

Click on the hyperlink above and have a look around at a new program that I created with Visual artist – Paul Telling.

MindMapping will help him:

  • Focus on concepts without being distracted with details.
  • Get around any writing deficiencies since the elements are all graphical.
  • Peak his interest because drawing is always a challenge – it never gets dull.
  • It’s easy to start with simple lines and arrows.
  • It’s progressive, meaning he’ll improve quickly as he masters the steps.
  • Because the information is visually stored, retention and recall should be greatly improved.
  • Since the process is FAST, that will deal with the short attention span associated with ADD.

Great Study Tips Site

Even though there are countless great sites on the Internet, often it’s hard to find them. That’s why, as an Exponential Growth Strategist, I come into contact with thousands of people every year and many of them forward interesting and useful links, sites and blogs that are valuable and worthy of bookmarking. The Khan Academy Site is one such example.

David Pitts, a participant at a recent corporate “Super Session” let me know that.

The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere.

The Khan Academy has 1000+ videos on YouTube covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to differential equations, physics, chemistry, biology and finance that have been recorded by Salman Khan. Read a recent San Francisco Chronicle article about Salman Khan and the Khan Academy.

Listen to a recent interview by Salman with NPR’s All Things Considered

Interested, download the Khan Academy fact sheet. You can also read more about the Khan Academy vision in this document.

The Khan Academy and Salman Khan have received a 2009 Tech Award in Education. The Tech Awards is an international awards program that honors innovators from around the world who are applying technology to benefit humanity.

Sal has just launched the alpha software version of the old web app. Try it out if you’re interested in practicing some of the concepts in the videos.. It requires a Google account (not the login from the old app). The old, slower version is still available here.

To keep abreast of new videos as they add them, subscribe to the Khan Academy channel on YouTube.

3 Note Taking Styles: 5 Major Flaws

There you are, preparing for your exam… looking back over your notes trying to understand what you’ve written. Trying to remember the words the lecturer said AND put into context the scribbles in your notebook. ARRRGGGHHHH!!!!

It doesn’t have to be this way. There IS a better way to take notes that will help you understand, remember and retain more knowledge, especially at a critical time such as your next exam!

Did you know there are 3 traditional ways we take notes?

1. The sentence narrative note taking style – This is where you simply write out word-for-word what you hear. Writing line-by-line as fast as you can. You’re basically a stenographer – focused on capturing the words on paper.

2. The list note taking style – this involves taking down the various ideas as they occur usually in a bulleted list, like the one I just created for the traditional note taking styles.

3. Outline note taking style-

Taking notes in a hierarchical sequence using major and

sub categories.

In a waterfall- like structure as shown here

Did you know that these 3 traditional note taking styles have 5 major flaws?

1. Lack of visual cues. As you can tell from the traditional styles above, they all use linear patterns, symbols and text, but use no visual cues, patterns, images or visualization tools. This is a critical flaw because the mind thinks in visual images and pictures and needs these elements to enable selective recall when it counts – on your next exam.

2. Boring. Traditional note taking styles are monotone, meaning your brain gets bored and switches off! Traditional notes all tend to look the same, hiding important key words and subject headings making it incredibly hard for your brain to remember what matters and what doesn’t. This is where confusion and “muddled” memory comes from. The brain knows it’s “in there” somewhere, but like a pile of papers scattered on the floor, it doesn’t know where it is or where it actually belongs.

3. Time consuming. Creating traditional notes is a monumental waste of time – when compared to their more efficient and effective alternative. Because they are boring and lack visual cues, when taking notes “the old fashioned way”, you tend to just keep writing unnecessarily. By writing more, it means your brain has to sift through even more irrelevant stuff to get to the important things that will be on your exam. To increase recall you need to keep reading and re reading your notes over and over and over and over again hoping something will sink in. The problem is that it makes it harder and harder and harder for the important stuff to stand out!

4. Lack of creative stimulation. Traditional note taking fails to stimulate the brain creatively, relying primarily on the logical left brain hemisphere for recall. That’s why it’s so hard. Failing to allow associations and connections to be made between key words and points, the creative right brain remains switched off.

5. False sense of completion. The traditional note taking formats gives you a false sense of completion because of their linear nature. They appear complete even though the complete lack the all-important conceptual connections and inter-relationships between the points.

How do you take notes and do you struggle with any of these issues?

Well by traditional NOTE taking you might as well be NOT taking.

There is an alternative to overcome these problems and limitations – it’s called mind mapping.

Because mind mapping mimics the brain’s thinking format, it uses radial thinking and visual patterning using colours, lines, pictures and (inter) relationships. By giving your brain many visual symbols to connect with, remembering them when it counts – on your next test or exam will be easy.

Mind maps are colourful and creative by nature with key points, ideas and concepts literally jumping off the page enabling your brain to quickly and effectively search and FIND the information you need, within the proper context.

Creating relationships and linkages are natural to the brain’s memory storing function. One of the best things about mind maps is that they’re less time consuming to create than traditional notes and take a lot less room. Usually, you can fit several pages or even whole chapters on one page mind map. That gives you QUICK ACCESS and also gives you the overall “picture” that traditional note taking lacks.

Mind mapping is really the polar opposite of traditional note taking. Instead of working against the brain mindmapping works with the brain, matching it to increase your memory, retention and comprehension to give you confidence when writing tests and exams.

Keep this in mind: Many highly successful business people admit to using mind mapping as a competitive tool in their businesses. If it works for them, there must be something to it!

CLICK HERE -> To get your hands on the “How To MindMap To Get Better Grades Video Program”.

Psst! Take a look at this blog post and COMPARE it to the mind mapping program description page – which one do you prefer? That’s the whole point!!!

Use Colours To Improve Memory Retention, Comprehension And Understanding

When we first learn something, information is processed by the brain to form a neural trace which first enters your sensory memory and then, if you’re paying attention, enters your Short Term Memory (STM). If you keep working to process the information and adapt it correctly, it then moves to your Long Term Memory (LTM).

The information which is processed into your LTM is more or less permanent and with occasional reviewing, you will not forget it.

The trick is to adapt the information that you really need into LTM as quickly as possible.

The ability to retain needed information in working memory is important to learning and exam taking performance. Drawings help to improve memory retention, comprehension and understanding. Continue reading ‘Use Colours To Improve Memory Retention, Comprehension And Understanding’

From Doodling To MindMapping

Today’s blog post contribution is from Paul Telling, a professional artist and MindMapping expert. I asked him to share his insights and ideas about MindMapping to help you get better grades in school. This is the first in a series we’ll be publishing on this blog it’s in support of a new program we just launched called How To MindMap To Get Better Grades. You can click on the hyperlink to access the program information page.

Hi, Paul Telling here – I thought I would share with you my story of how I caught onto MindMapping along my educational journey.

I have always been interested in school and learning. Although at school it can be hard when you think you have all the answers and the teachers are slowing you down. Or the reverse might be true – you struggle to learn as you just don’t get what the teacher’s on about.

Well I had both happen during my high school years. I was interested in art, computing studies and maths while I struggled in English and physics. I managed to get into university doing a degree in Industrial Design.

Studying at university was where I learned to doodle in my sketchbook – all day long. Of course during design classes but also in classes that I was meant to be taking notes. If I found the lectures boring, I would draw a caricature of the lecturer and this got a lot of laughs from my classmates.

Some of my classmates just thought I was weird because I tended to spend more time drawing things than taking linear notes verbatim. My pages of notes were eighty percent pictures and less than twenty percent text.

Little did I know that this was MindMapping!

We all have a tendency to doodle while on the phone, during lectures especially in maths or science class! Doodling is the sub conscious working in its own visual language to learn the content you’re grappling with to help you remember stuff more easily. Doodles are visual elements trying to get linked up in your brain.

The amazing thins is that I can still remember many of ,my lecture notes from when I was a design student. I can still picture most of them in my mind’s eye even though that was more than 6 years ago.

Back then I didn’t know what I was doing. Over time, I have learned the different skills required to MindMap more effectively. I value this skill as something that helps me learn quickly the first time, every time.

Luckily, I now have the chance to teach you this wonderful skill of MindMapping through the video course I created with Dr Marc Dussault.

When you take the How To MindMap To Get Better Grades Video Program, you will turn, in two hours, learn to turn your doodles into cool, colourful MindMaps that will help you remember and recall more than ever before. Your classmates will think you’re a genius.

I hope you get your hands on the course sooner rather than later so you can start to improve your grades as of the very next test, quiz or exam that’s coming up.

I look forward to sharing more insights with you in future blog posts.

Visually yours,

Paul Telling