Is it good practice to take notes?

Is it a good idea to take notes, because I’m not sure, and I’m also not sure of what to take notes of.

I’m a huge fan of taking notes to increase retention. If I don’t take notes, I’ve found that material I’m trying to learn doesn’t “stick” nearly as well.

There are two stages to my note-taking:

  1. While I follow a video course, do the lessons on FCC, or read a book, I put down short notes on a sheet of paper. Just keywords, short phrases, or bits of syntax. The nice part about pen/pencil and paper is that you can easily draw in arrows, lines, big exclamation marks, etc. Doing this by hand seems to be key to retention for me (compared to just typing the notes).

  2. At the end of a study day, or the next morning, I summarize my notes briefly in a Markdown text file. This will just be a paragraph that sums up what I learned, sometimes with a few quick code examples. This is more concise than my handwritten notes and requires me to repeat in my own words what I learned (as if briefly explaining it to someone else) It’s also useful as a refresher when you read over the notes later (not so practical with handwritten notes). I push those text files to a private Github repository, just to stay in the habit of committing stuff.

This really sounds more complex, detailed, and time-consuming than it actually is. It does take a bit of extra time, but I feel it’s very much worth the effort and at least for me it’s the second best way of retaining stuff I’m learning (the best way is to apply it in practice projects and/or play around with it). It quickly becomes a habit if you do it regularly.


I really find it helpful to take notes when I’m learning something new. I almost never refer back to them (in fact, I usually throw them away pretty shortly after writing them). For me, taking the time to organize and articulate the material helps me learn it more effectively.


If you are not sure of what to take notes of, you could start with adding comments above your code.

I like to add comments explaining the code that follows my comment so I end up with file that has comments for all sections.

After you have tried it for a week or so, you can see if this method works for you. :slight_smile:

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I really love to work with handwritten notes and I rarely transpose them to digital except when I want to share them

You can have different types of notes depending of your purposes

I’m newbie to “web dev field” and I observe that’s huuuge…so many techniques and stuff to learn (with so many ‘opinions’ too) and keeping a “logbook” with different notes about theories, practices, feelings, purposes, methodologies or
thoughts ordering processes…help me when I feel overwhelmed by all those informations.

It is like a break for the brain as you are not able to remember all the content of something in one time (if you can, just forget about notes, it’s maybe not your way)

Writting is only a part, maybe you prefer listening, drawing or seeing contents. Or combine all to improve effectiveness !

And as you said, taking notes is…a practice ! You can have a look there :slight_smile: :

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I’m new to all of this, and I’ve gone over the responsive web design twice, one w/o notes, once w/

I think the best part about notes is that I can’t put them into my own words without understanding the topic

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Hey Dan !

Have you finally try some note training :slight_smile: even on a virtual sticker ?
Or have more thinking about?

Have a nice day !

Yes, I been taking notes in a notebook.

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Cool ! :slight_smile:
Wish you good experiment with it !

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Hope my reply will help you all reading this:

There is an app called anki for desktop. You can make flash cards in this app and this app sync with your “anki mobile” through “anki web”. You see, using flash cards is a great and effective way to retain any knowledge as it is based on the fact that you retain things longer when you see a stuff over and over for a long period of time.

youtube link for how to use anki effectively is below: