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The sentence method for note-taking

The sentence method for note-taking

How come that taking notes using sentences is so simple and effective? How does it tie to our ways of thinking and communicating? Under what circumstances is it worth using this method? Read our new article.

In our everyday lives, we probably don’t tend to think too often about the way we express our thoughts. We don’t think of the ways we communicate with each other, the words we use or the form of communication (which communicator!) we prefer. It just happens, as if naturally – language arranges our thoughts and expressions into sentences. They in turn organise our communication and give it meaning. Organising statements and paying attention to sentences are features of the note-taking method called the sentence method. As its name would suggest, it consists in taking notes in the form of sentences – recording statements, arranging data, writing down stories – that always end with a full stop.

The sentence gives order to the meaning

The biggest advantage of the sentence method is that the meaning of a statement written down as a sentence – and not just a collection of words – is often clearer and easier to decipher. This has obvious consequences with regard to the ease of absorbing and consolidating information.

Note-taking using the sentence method doesn’t mean transcribing the entire statement ‒ it entails rather the dynamic selection of data at the stage of listening and immediately writing it down. Notes produced in this way are simplified and ready for instant review and verification.

Pronouncing a sentence is hard

Note-taking using this method turns out helpful when we have to deal with a statement divided into longer batches ‒ lectures, podcasts or presentations. In practice, it’s best to write down each new thought (fact or topic etc.) in a separate line and to systematically number them. Once we’re done, we should immediately review the notes and figure out which information is the most important, and which can be skipped.

The biggest disadvantage of this note-taking method is the revision of the written material. The legibility of the notes decreases sharply together with their amount, which is why it’s worth re-writing the numbered sentences into a new place, taking into account the connections between them. This makes visualising the connections between the sentences easier and facilitates the consolidation of information.

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