Written by Lauren Rosenthal, a Moorpark College student and student worker with the Ventura County Community College District.

Whether you enjoy taking notes during class or not, the practice is extremely beneficial for reviewing and understanding your studies. To make note taking even more helpful, add some strategically placed color coding. This new strategy will stimulate both your grades and creativity.


Here are the top 5 reasons to color-code your notes:


  • Strengthens connections between the concepts. Using multiple colors while taking notes can help you better understand the lessons you just learned by seeing their relationships. Color-coded notes will stimulate your attention and make your study skills more strategic. 


  • Emphasizes the info that you want to stick. Notes written with only one color are often messy and difficult to follow, making studying more difficult. However, color-coding or highlighting the important information will make it stick out on the page, in your mind and then when you need it. Emphasize names, events, questions and commentary.


  • Captivates your creativity. Organizing your notes by color stimulates your creativity, helps you visualize concepts and recall the significant information later. I’ve often reviewed my notes before an exam and have been frustrated because it’s hard to read the messy, monotonous wall of text I took during class. Adding color makes my notes vivid, interesting and more memorable.


  • Creates an organized, comprehensive record of your studying. Show you’re an organized, skilled studier who takes awesome, extensive and colorful notes. Don’t waste your time writing unreadable jottings; create something that you’re excited to look at again.


Lastly, remember to keep your highlighting to the most important information. It’s easy to get carried away with highlighting, but if everything on your page is emphasized it loses its impact.

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