Whole-Brain Approaches to Note-Taking

Authored by Bobbi Deporter and Mike Hernacki

Review by RS Jacobs, at age 15

Whole-Brain Approaches to Note-Taking, of the Quantum Booklet series, is a marvelously written work showing how to take notes with your entire brain, rather than the dominant half. It introduces such methods as the famous Mind Map style of Tony Buzan, and additionally goes on to fill in four major categories of content. The book, labeled Quantum Notes, addresses the main purpose of note-taking, mind-mapping, what mindscapes are, and what Notes:TM is.

On the issue of note-taking, the book says the following: “Effective note-taking is one of the most important skills anyone ever learns.” That proves to be true, as the book goes on to note – forgive the pun – the importance by saying how everyone takes notes of some kind every second of their life, and also marking “mental notes” as being ineffective and not to be used. According to Mrs. Deporter, “The main purpose of note-taking is to help you remember and understand valuable information.” Notes should be fun to take, the author claims, and the book goes on to show one of three fun ways to take notes: Mind Mapping.

What is a Mind Map? It is the equivalent of a brainstorm, but instead of mapping out non-existent or disassembled content, the mental cartographer – if you will – maps out what is already there, in order to effectively remember it. Mind mapping, invented by Tony Buzan in the late ‘70s, is “a whole-brain approach using visual images and other graphic devices to form impressions,” so says the author. The book lists such helpful laws for mind mapping, such as starting in the center of the image, selecting key words, and using many different colors. But for those who would think this method was zany, the next one is, to borrow a video-gaming term, a level-up: Mind-scaping.

Mindscapes are an outgrowth of Mind Mapping, developed by Nancy Margulies, a corporate consultant, and author. The primary concept of a Mindscape is to break all the rules. Start wherever imagination leads and progress onward to landscape the topic: that is the idea in use. But the book doesn’t stop with the wacky world of mindscapes. The last method of note-taking, and a surefire success, is a strange one for sure.

“Notes: TM” was designed by Mark Reardon, Quantum Learning facilitator, as a variant of Cornell Notes. “Notes: TM” is unique in that not only does the writer take notes, but the writer also makes their own notes. The “T” stands for ‘taking.’ The first thing everyone thinks of, of course, is taking notes, and this method is no different. The “M” stands for ‘making.’ The key to this method’s success is that the writer notes thoughts, impressions, feelings, reactions, questions, and concerns relevant to the speaker or material. In this way, the notes not only reflect the topic, but keep the note-taker actively involved.

Whole-Brain Approaches to Note-Taking is an excellent book, accurately covering all the topics it brings up, and should be read by anyone high-school level and above. The booklet covers: the main purpose of note-taking, mind-mapping, what mindscapes are, and what Notes:TM is.


For more things written by RS Jacobs, click here: http://rsjacobsuniverse.wordpress.com/


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