Pretty note-taking is a skill, not a talent. This means that you can learn to do this, easily — no artistic talent required. Pretty note-taking is similar to bullet journaling. It’s a method for memory retention for those of use who are artistic and visual learners.

If you are considering a pretty note-taking adventure, there are a few things you can do to be successful. First, if you are taking an actual course — have two notebooks. The first for in-classroom scribbles and notes while the lecture is taking place. The second is for your ‘pretty’ notes that you will re-copy at a later date when you’ve reviewed the notes and reading, and have a better idea of the final content for your notes.

Here is my process for pretty note-taking:

  • Gather all the content for your single page of notes.
  • Decide on a visual design theme – bulleted list or concept mapping?
  • Sketch out the design on a separate piece of paper first or in a Word document.
  • Highlight the items on your sketch that you want to use a different color for the text or image in the final version.
  • Begin copying your final design and notes onto your ‘pretty’ notebook.

Here are a few examples of pretty note-taking from this last semester.