50 Note-Taking Quotes to Help You Learn

Note-taking is an important skill that we should all learn, as evidenced by these note-taking quotes.

Note-taking is a skill that we could all use, whether for school, for our career, or for anything we would like to learn.

Here are some tips to improve your note-taking skills:

  • Be consistent – this will help when you look back at your notes
  • Use symbols, colors, and abbreviations – this will make your notes more concise
  • Don’t try to write down every word – focus on the facts and the big picture
  • Use headings – separate the notes under large headings so you can easily review your notes
  • Identify key information – circle, underline color code

Take a look at these note-taking quotes to get some more ideas on how to improve your note-taking skills.

Best Note-Taking Quotes

If you’re skeptical about taking notes, these quotes will convince you otherwise. 

1. “I take notes like some people take drugs…” Tim Ferriss

2. “When your heart speaks, take good notes.” — Judith Exner

3. “Gift yourself with a journal for your own notes.” — Cheryl Barker

4. “A humorist doesn’t really do that much note-taking.” — P.J. O’Rourke

5. “So be selective, don’t be compulsive, and enjoy your note-taking.” — Robert Pyle

6. “As a painter, taking photos is a form of shorthand—note-taking.” — Wanda Koop

7. “If you don’t write down what you’re hearing and learning, what’s the odds you remember it?” — Ben Casnocha

8. “I never wrote things down to remember; I always wrote things down so I could forget.” Matthew McConaughey

9. “Experts—or those who have deconstructed what experts do — take notes. Novices don’t see the point.” — Ben Casnocha

10. “Prereading is a game changer. It changed my life…Everyone is smarter when they have seen the material before. You will be too.” — Peter Rogers

Note-Taking Quotes on the Importance of Taking Notes

The following quotes explain the importance of note-taking and strategies you can use.

11. “You didn’t expect these notes to turn into my therapy session, did you?” Lin-Manuel Miranda

12. “The more content you try to capture during a lecture or a meeting, the less you’re thinking about what’s being said.” — Ryder Carroll

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13. “Since the time of Plato and Aristotle, philosophers have had an interest in taking notes of common fallacies in reasoning.” — Randal Marlin

14. “In the meantime, keep a small spiral notebook, a pen, and a little flashlight on your bedside table, and jot down things as they come to you.” — Cheryl Barker

15. “You have to make your own condensed notes. You learn from MAKING them. A lot of thinking goes into deciding what to include and exclude.” — Peter Rogers

16. “It was from the artists and poets that the pertinent answers came, and I know that panic would have broken loose had they been able to compare notes.” H.P. Lovecraft

17. “The Sketchnote Handbook is neither about sketching nor is it about note taking. It’s about receiving and processing the world in a more complete and insightful way.” — Stefan G. Bucher

18. “Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper, you can lose an idea forever.” — Will Self

19. “Kids who want to become writers might want to start carrying a small notebook in their backpack. I encourage people to sit down in malls and listen, just listen, to how people talk.” — Ann Turner

20. “Once a day, especially in the early years of life and study, call yourselves to an account what new ideas, what new proposition or truth you have gained, what further confirmation of known truths, and what advances you have made in any part of knowledge.” — Isaac Watts

Journaling and Note-Taking Quotes for Personal Development

Note-taking is just as important for life as it is for studying, as shown in the following quotes.

21. “Writing your thoughts down can bring clarity amid confusion and stagnancy.” — Robin S. Baker

22. “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” Anne Frank

23. “Journaling can be an excellent way to increase self-awareness, discover and change habits.” — Akiroq Brost

24. “The secret of keeping a journal is seeing it as a draft, a stepping-stone, a process.” — Alexandra Johnson

25. “Document your dreams. Sketch that shape you saw. Write those lyrics before they fade out.” — Michael Bassey Johnson

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26. “A journal is a self-empowering, self-realizing map we create for ourselves to better our lives.” — Andrew Pacholyk

27. “When I sit down with my notebook when I start scribbling words across the page, I find out what I’m feeling.” — Dani Shapiro

28. “Keeping a journal: The short entries are often as dry as instant tea. Writing them down is like pouring hot water over them to release their aroma.” — Ernst Jünger

29. “A diary or journal isn’t necessarily something that should be done daily so much as it is a clue to how to see the daily world around oneself differently.” — Alexandra Johnson

30. “Writing out your thoughts and emotions is good for a healthy mindset because it helps you get to the root of your thoughts so you can better understand yourself.” — Humaira Syed

31. “Each Bullet Journal becomes another volume in the story of your life. Does it represent the life you want to live? If not, then leverage the lessons you’ve learned to change the narrative in the next volume.” — Ryder Carroll

Sarcastic Note-Taking Quotes

Not everyone is a fan of notetaking, as you can see below.

32. “The person with the best notes wins.” — Leigh Owen

33. “Why take notes? The obvious reason is to remember.” — Tom Wujec

34. “One of the critical skills in creative work is note-taking.” — Lauri Jarvilento

35. “Visual note-taking translates what we hear into pictures that give context, color, and meaning.” — Tom Wujec

36. “Here, class attendance is expected, and students are required to take notes, which they are tested on.” — Harrison Salisbury

37. “Find a scenius, pay attention to what others are sharing, and then start taking note of what they’re not sharing.” — Austin Kleon

38. “Practically all the great geniuses of our culture, ranging from Leonardo to Edison, from Hemingway to Picasso, have been almost pathological note-takers.” — Lauri Jarvilento

Insightful Note-Taking Quotes

39. “Take notes. Everything is copy.” — Nora Ephron

40. “Acquiring the habit of note taking is, therefore, a wonderfully complementary skill to that of listening.” Richard Branson

41. “Photography means: note-taking on, potentially, everything in the world, from every possible angle.” — Susan Sontag

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42. “The night before a biochemistry class, I read the last year’s lecture notes. I look at the pictures in the book. Now, I’ve got the general concept.” — Peter Rogers MD

43. “Visual note-taking translates what we hear into pictures that give context, color, and meaning. By adding symbols, visual metaphors, likeness of people, and room layouts, we add several dimensions.” — Tom Wujec

44. “Note-taking is important to me: a week’s worth of reading notes (or ‘thoughts I had in the shower’ notes) is cumulatively more interesting than anything I might be able to come up with on a single given day.” — Teju Cole

A Few More Quotes About Note-Taking

Here are a few additional thoughts and perspectives on taking notes.

45. “I gotta take notes when things occur to me.” — Jeff Bridges

46. “You can see that there is scarcely an observable fact unworthy of mention in your notes” — Robert Pyle

47. “When a regular person gets sick, they take an aspirin. When a writer gets sick, they take notes…” Chuck Palahniuk

48. “Sure… There’s a couple of details to fill in and a few things to memorize. But that’s no big deal. I’ve got the big picture, and that’s all I need.” — Peter Rogers MD

49. “The U.S. should take notes: Government overspending and a campaign of alienating investors and small business isn’t really the best way to boost the economy.” — Oliver DeMille

50. “I’m a compulsive note-taker, and I used to feel self-conscious about pulling out my little notebook and taking notes during a casual conversation. Then I noticed that people really seemed to enjoy it; the fact that I was taking notes made their remarks seem particularly insightful or valuable.” Gretchen Rubin

Once You Learn to Take Notes, How Do You Review Them?

Getting the information down in notes is the first step, but then you need to review them.

Here are some tips for reviewing your notes:

  • Review immediately – this will help you remember the information
  • Rewrite the notes even more concisely after reviewing them
  • Test yourself to make you know the information

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And let us know your favorite quote in the comments. 

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