Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Awesome Notes Tab System

In order to keep up with my school work, my long-distance relationship, and my personal interests (reading blogs, swimming, playing guitar, news, etc), I've had to make a number of sacrifices (goodbye social life!).  In addition to those sacrifices, I've also had to look for ways to become more efficient in how I utilize my 168 hours; the first step occurred early last year when I got rid of my amazing 65" Sony TV and decided to not replace it.

One of the operational enhancements that I'm particularly fond of is the tab system I use to keep track of my notes.  Every class that I've been in so far has had a course packet, which includes a variety of readings, cases, and other items.  In addition to those items, the professors normally hand out (or include in the packet) the lecture slides that they use in class.  I got tired of wasting time having to thumb through the printouts to find particular items, so I started using these multicolor tabs that I pick up at the local CVS.

I use the vertical tabs to keep track of a period of time (normally 1 week, or 2 classes worth of notes) or a particular section of notes (cases, articles, handouts) and the horizontal tabs to mark off important concepts. The system has worked out beautifully for me, and it has been particularly helpful in classes that have open-notes exams.

Ironically, in taking a time to celebrate my efficiency win, I've put myself a bit further behind on this OPS case.


  1. Are you allowed to take notes on the computer? OneNote, which is a Microsoft product, has been the best thing I have found to keep my notes clean, clear and searchable (this is the major plus!!). You can have "notebooks" with tabs on top for each class per a quarter/ year and then tabs on the side for each class.

    For instance, I have a notebook for "SYQ4" and it has 4 tabs, one for each class. At the end of the quarter each class should have 15 sub-tabs, one for each class session.

  2. Thanks for the heads up! I've never used OneNote, but anything that makes the body of the notes searchable is a good thing. The course packets also include soft copies of all of the included stuff, but that lacks any handwritten notes you take down in class.

    Professors have different policies toward laptops. Some allow you to use them as long as you sit in the back row, others don't.

    But from what I understand, they are generally pretty flexible with their policy if you just ask them.