I’m a pen and paper kind of person because no matter how hard I try to incorporate digital note-taking into my life, I would always end up feeling better if I write down important things I need to take note of the old-fashioned way.
And even though it may feel ancient as everything today is now done through computers, there are still a lot of people who prefer physical note-taking.
Today, I’m going to share with you 8 easy ways to make your notes look pretty to help boost your creativity, productivity, and information recall as well.
But don’t worry, you don’t need to have superb handwriting skills to make it happen—with the right tools and the right ways, you’ll be taking notes effectively in no time!
So without further ado, let’s get this started!
8 Easy Ways To Make Your Notes Look Pretty
1) Create headers and make them stand out
During my years in high school and university, I have met a lot of people who have underestimated the power of neat and pretty notes.
I’ve always noticed that they just straight ahead cram up their paper with everything the teacher or professors says as fast as they could but only end up with gibberish and hard-to-understand notes.
Little do they know that organizing and making your notes look nice can greatly help with remembering concepts, gaining a better understanding of a certain topic, and developing your overall learning skill as well.
The first method that you can try to make your notes look better is to create headers and make them stand out.
Creating a catchy and bold header can be of great help to increase your focus and lessen any distraction that may divert your attention from what you need to write or review.
Also, having that catchy header can easily help you locate and tell what topic it is that you need to cover or review.
Adding a banner to your header or even just a simple box using a highlighter or a marker can instantly change the look of your notes, some even like to draw in doodles or symbols to make their headers pop.
2) Add color to your notes
This is probably one of the most useful and helpful tips for an effective note-taking process. Color-coding is another great strategy to structure and organize your notes to make them look nice and tidy and visually appealing as well.
Using color on your notes is not at all childish in any way, you can try to choose neutral colors if you would like but a pop of color never hurt anyone!
You can use a set of colors to incorporate a theme to your notes and use certain colors for subtitles, definitions, and important keywords for you to identify them quickly and easily.
Highlighters are a great tool for this, but if you’re not a fan of highlighters, colorful pens like gel pens can do the trick, and the next thing you know you’ll have pretty notes that you’ll enjoy looking at.
You can also choose to go with one color only if for example, you go with pink you can use writing tools that are all the same color for that aesthetic and monotone look on your notes making them look coordinated and well-put-together.
The best thing about using color in your notes is that it will also help you remember things better all while organizing your notes as well.
3) Spruce up your hand-writing
Making your notes look pretty does not mean that you need to have a calligraphy-level of handwriting skill.
You just need to write diligently and in an organized way so that they will look easy to the eyes and aesthetic as well.
A great technique that you can try to spruce up your handwriting is to change your writing style for different sections in your notes. You can try to write your headers in all capital letters and the contents in small letters, while important keywords or sentences in cursive.
4) Switch up your stationery
Aside from sprucing up your handwriting, having a handful of different types of stationery can also help make your notes look prettier.
Try using a different writing tool for every section of your notes and you’ll instantly notice the difference.
You can try using a thin or thick marker for your headers, a highlighter to give it a pop of color and emphasize important keywords and sections, and you can also try to change up from a pen to pencil for sentences that you would like to elaborate on a bit more.
5) Accessorize your notes
Adding stickers and embellishments around your notes can keep it more exciting and fun. Doing this also helps to boost your creativity especially when you’re brainstorming or trying to retain information from what you are writing.
This also takes out the bore from taking up lots of notes as this gives you a chance to take a break and relax your hands for a while.
One great way to brighten up your page and make them look pretty is by using washi tapes. Washi tapes are popular Japanese decorative tape that comes in a lot of different color and patterns. You can use it in your notes to highlight important details and sections and to draw attention to a specific word or phrase.
Stamps are a great option too as they will help make your notes look more interesting. You can try to use different stamps and sticks for different sections of your notes and much like stickers and washi tapes, stamps are a great way to give emphasis on important details and sections that you want to stand out in your notes.
6) Try out different note-taking techniques
Better notes equate to a better understanding of what you are writing down. Using different note-taking techniques can not only help you be more productive and effective, it can also turn it into an enjoyable thing to do.
There are five different note-taking techniques that you can try and the following are:
The Cornell Method
A popular note-taking method that helps summarize your notes into digestible parts. It cuts down the use of long sentences and turns them into short notes while retaining all important information accurately.
The use of this method imposes you to use familiar symbols and abbreviations to you and your topic shortcuts your notes efficiently.
There are mainly three parts in this method which are; Part A consisting of questions relating to your topic, Part B summarization of your notes pertaining to the topic or subject, and Part C which is the general summarization of the said topic or subject.
The Mapping Method
If you’re a visual learner, then the Mapping method might just be the perfect technique for you. This method serves the dual purpose of making your notes look pretty while being very effective as well.
As the brain also finds it much easier to remember color and pictures rather than plain back and white notes a more visual way to organize your notes is like hitting two birds with one stone. This is also particularly helpful when it comes to relating one topic to another.
The Outlining Method
Another great technique for you to try that requires the use of symbols and bullets is the Outlining method. If your topic goes over a lot of intricate details then this technique can be extremely useful for you.
The Charting Method
If you are someone who likes to organize your thoughts in rows and columns then you need to try out the Charting method.
This method utilizes columns that are labeled by categories wherein each category is elaborated with details in rows beneath it.
The Sentence Method
If there’s a lot of information that you need to cover for a certain subject matter the Sentence method can be used to ensure that you are not leaving behind any important specifics that you need to jot down.
7.) Choose the right canvas
With the right quality notebook, you’ll be ahead of making your notes look prettier. Investing in the right tools can make a world of difference once you start taking down your notes.
For choosing notebooks, try to choose a size that you’re comfortable writing in, something that’s not too small or too big depending on your preference, but if you really need to take up a lot of notes then bigger-sized notebooks are best for you.
And in terms of the quality of paper, try to find a notebook with thick quality pages that pens will not easily bleed through because if you get cheap and low-quality ones you won’t be able to write on the back pages of notes that you’ve already written on as it will only look sloppy.
Also consider if you want to get a notebook with blank pages, ruled, or a gridded one. The binding and page quantity play an important factor too, so check out this buying guide for you to know what kind of paper notebook is best for you.
8.) Invest in quality supplies
Last but not least is for you to invest in quality writing materials, what good will the perfect notebook do if you can’t pour down all your ideas if you are using low-quality pens that skip lines and occasionally bleeds out ink, right?
Choosing supplies for your note-taking is also one of the most exciting and fun parts of it because it’s shopping time!
You get to choose from thousands of colorful and fun pens, gel pens, highlighters, markers, sticky notes, stickers, and just about anything that you need to use for your note-taking.
If you’re just starting out with your physical note-taking journey try out a few supplies first until you find the ones that are perfect for you and your needs when it comes to writing.
Once you have established your own style and have found the perfect technique and the right materials, your momentum will come naturally and note-taking will be easy as pie and eventually will become an enjoyable task for you.
I hoped this has inspired you to pick up a pen and paper to start your note-taking journey! May your days be filled with creativity and productivity with no hand cramps in sight!
Until our next one, toodles!