Taking notes whilst learning new language? Or take mental notes?

Hey everyone! I am new to coding, and I am wondering what your approach is when it comes to learning a new language?
I have been taking a lot of notes in my notebook as I complete each task, but I notice it taking a long time to take such notes. Is it necessary to remember every little detail when it comes to coding, or do you just need to understand how it works?
I hope this makes sense? THANKS!

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@parrythunder I think taking notes is good practice, since for beginners its a good referral to go back to when you get stumped and second it always helps me remember things when I write them down (like a grocery list)… Some people have photographic memories and can remember something from first glance (which I envy HA!) :slight_smile:

If you write it down enough times it’ll get engraved in your brain where it’ll become second nature.


Thanks for getting back to me @justdavis83!! I’ll keep writing notes! ha

I also tend to take a lot of notes in my notebook. It does take a long time, but it is nice to be able to refer to them in the future when you forget what some code block looks like or what something does. I recently started taking notes in Microsoft OneNote instead of by hand. This is nice because you can type it and then take screenshots of code snippets and store them for later. OneNote comes with Microsoft Office if you use that software, but there are plenty of free options for note taking on the internet as well.

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I’m going to weigh in on the other side. I don’t take notes when I’m working on something new. I like to focus as much as I can on the actual coding at hand rather than swapping back and forth between screen and notebook (or app to app on the screen if you’re taking notes that way). If I reach something that I’m having trouble with and I find a really good, concise resource on it through Googling, I bookmark it for future use.

For any topic in the FCC curriculum, there are 10,000 blog posts, Stack Overflow posts/answers, code repos, tutorials, or documentation. So I just bookmark those things and reference them when needed rather than spending the time writing by hand.


A similar thread from a while back…you may find some interesting advice in here too:

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I keep Googling things afresh every time I need a reminder.

Nothing like Google’s ‘You have visited this page 100 times’ note to show me what a slow learner I must be!


Thanks for getting back to me! I’m going to try something like OneNote. Cheers!

haha, yes, google is my notebook too.

I was looking for a flash card thing a while back (like @P1xt has suggested) , because I used them in training for my previous career as a network enginer and they did me good. Well they came with a book actually. The trouble is I’m just not consistent at taking notes so they are always at risk of becoming useless.

My writen notes are pretty much illegible when I try to read them back. Google it is then :smiley:

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Ah thank you

I’d be using it myself if I wasn’t tinkering away on a branch. Just can’t put it down at the moment to pick up on tutorials haha.

I will be so chuffed if anyone gets some use out of it.

Take notes in MS word and you can use ctrl + f to find anything. Also, if you use heading formatting for you titles, word will generate an index automatically. Very handy!

I prefer to use comments in my code. I will obsessively comment every aspect of my code while I’m building it, then I refer back to earlier projects when I need to. I find explaining what I’m doing, to myself, in my code really reinforces what I’m learning.

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I usually take notes in a notebook, and then scan them into Evernote on my computer! I love it as I can refer to it later.

I second One Note. I live and die byOne Note. You can also access a limited web version (SkyDrive) if you are on Linux. I use the screen clipping feature Windows key + s all day every day. Plus you can organize your topics into ‘notebooks’ with individual pages. And if you get into the habit of ‘tagging’ your notes, you can easily go back and search what you did long ago. That’s awesome for forgetful people like me :wink:

I cannot live without taking notes.