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Thread: Speed Writing/Shorthand Resources?

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    Senior Member DavidtheGnome's Avatar
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    Default Speed Writing/Shorthand Resources?

    Does anyone have a positive experience with a shorthand or speed writing resource (book, online course, etc) that is suitable for general note taking in an academic setting? I regularly produce 3+ 8x11 pages front and back in a class and I am interested in options to lighten the load on my hand and improve my ability to capture all of the relevant info I need.

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    Default Re: Speed Writing/Shorthand Resources?

    I haven't been able to figure out how to write quickly, but I did have some better luck with learning the Cornell method of note taking. It does take a while to get used to, but when you use it well, it works a lot better to help retain and pull up information than trying to read full notes over and over.
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    Senior Member naimitsu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Speed Writing/Shorthand Resources?

    I used to produce the same amount of notes per class per day starting in primary school, so I can't help with that.
    But I don't remember ever getting hand fatigue from taking notes for my STEM classes (I basically BSed my way through the non-STEM classes, so no notes where taken there), nor did I ever feel like I missed anything.
    However, the system that worked for me was started when I was 9, and was second nature to me by 16, so I didn't have to worry about the "rules" for note taking by the time I got to Uni, so I'm not sure how well this would work for you... but I will try to describe it anyway in case something I did could help you out.

    My notes were pretty spaced out and single-sided, so I probably destroyed more trees than necessary.

    The notes I took were vertical (as in I always had space on either side) and color separated by content (color coding didn't happen until the notes got rewritten, if they got rewritten), which meant I daily carried 3-12 pens.

    I also did not write everything down. I only noted the information that was either hard to remember, exceptions, or otherwise not explained anywhere else (we had educators who were pretty good at indicating those).

    If a book was referenced, I would note the chapter-section and/or page, then jot the reason why it was being written down.

    Calculations were never completed in class, though most of the educators I had would stop short as well once they got the point of the exception or reason behind the in-class example.

    If something was not clear, I would use the back to capture the clarification.

    Important equations were boxed and flagged so I could transfer it to my running tally sheet of important equations, which was the template for the crib sheet produced (and turned in) for tests.

    When I did write words, complete sentences were never used, and punctuation did not exist. I developed my own shorthand (which usually meant dropping "unimportant" vowels) because adopting someone else's was too confusing and too much work to memorize.

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