How to organise revision notes

By Matt Burdett, 21 February 2020

This article is about how to organise your revision notes for Geography.

The main thing about revision, is that you need to do it again. That’s literally the root of the word – to REvise, meaning to do again.

Most students end up with pages and pages of notes. And that’s great, because it means you’ve been creating the content.

But most students forget to think about how they will REvise the notes they’ve made. Here’s my top tips on making your notes more effective:

  1. Make a contents list. If you’re writing on a laptop, you can do this easily by using the ‘text styles’ function. But it’s better to do it by hand. Try to organise your contents page along the same lines as your syllabus. It will help you spot anything that’s missing, and you can go back easily to REfind what you’ve done.
  2. Add page numbers. Sounds simple, but it’s really powerful. It means you can quickly find the things you want to revise. It also helps you to keep your notes tidy. And tidy notes lead to a tidy mind.
  3. Use heading effectively. If you’re using a layered heading system, such as red for the title, blue for the main header, green for the sub-header, this can help you structure your notes and see where you are on the page. Even better, you can then use only the subheadings of a specific colour to REcreate your notes later.
  4. Use loose-leaf folders, not notebooks. You can easily add in some extra revision notes if you want to, such as a mind-map that you’ve created from memory, and you can see your progress by keeping each of the pieces of REvision you do.
  5. Use the Cornell method to make your notes. Leave a margin down the side of the page, and a big space at the bottom. Make your notes in the top right section, then a day later summarise your ideas in the margin. A week later, summarise your ideas in the bottom section. It’s even better if you can do this from memory.

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