Visual Notetaking


I am reviewing for a chemistry exam and I also just received an IPad for the holiday that I celebrate. By making these notes visualized, I was able to see the full breakdown of the bonds that were created in such a tricky molecule. These notes although time consuming may be useful in special cases with more visually taxing tasks.

Visual Note Taking

Photo of biology notes taken by myself

The notes posted above are my notes from one of my biology classes. This included a good amount of text since I mostly take notes for the definitions. In term of the relationship between things, I often use drawings to express them.

I’m pretty used to some extent of visual note taking. I would have trouble understanding and remembering detailed facts, which I am not good at, if I were to draw my notes out completely. However, this kind of notes that incorporates images helps me learn about and remember structure of chemical molecules.

Visual Note Taking

It is really easy for me to get distracted. On my class notes, it will be often to find sketches or things that are hundred percent not related to the course. This is my notes from accounting class. We were learning the market value of a company, and multiple formulas. I just started to use my iPad to take notes, using digital drawing tool to take notes actually made the process of note taking to be interesting.

Visual Note Taking

For this assignment, I made a visual note on a Korean 101 class I was studying for. The main intent of the visual note was to help me understand and memorize the pronunciations and distinctions between the vocabularies regarding physical relationships and comparisons, which I had some struggles with. The drawing came to me pretty naturally, since this unit of vocabularies was about relationships between objects. One aspect I would work on in the future when taking notes would be incorporating the visuals into the whole page, instead of only one corner of the notepaper. Another potential approach would be to use my digital tools (iPad or PC) to take notes. It would have been easier for coloring and more pleasing visual elements. However, I prefer drawing on paper because of the unique texture it gives, and writing on paper helps with memorization.

Side Quest 8

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is screen-shot-2020-11-10-at-11.54.48-pm.png
Done using Gimp, with the title being a reference to the film Thelma and Louise and Waze being a reference to the app Waze. Note: Cis and Trans refer to the orientation of the Golgi Apparatus Cisternae (which are vesicles, basically).

Initially, I had no idea how to start doing this assignment. I knew I wanted to represent the Endomembrane system for my Biology Exam, but I truly had no idea how to do that, so I started by drawing a Protein using the app Waze, because they have no idea where to go. From there, the allegory of a road trip for the Protein clicked together, with all of the stops being necessary processes for the synthesis of a protein. The Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum starts it all, being the auto shop, so I figured I might as well keep rolling the dice on this metaphor and make it a mom-and-pop type auto shop, with a “since ….” I decided to make the year 5 million, since that was when bones of one of the first ancestors of humans that came from Apes that were able to walk upright. Unfortunately, I mixed the two up – ‘Ardi’ (the name of the Fossil) was 5 million years ago, not Lucy, who was 3.5 million years ago. Also Thymine is a nucleotide, not a Protein, but it just fit better in imitating the title of the iconic road film Thelma and Louise.

Doing this made me remember the material a lot better, and also it was a lot of fun! Practicing drawing on a virtual keyboard and engaging myself in a creative endeavor was super relaxing and definitely something I will do more often. Also if I could change one thing I’d make it a Toyota Vesicle, not a Honda Vesicle. Just feels right, I can’t explain it.

Econ. Doodle

First and foremost, I learned that I am a terrible artist. The only reason why each doodle is even recognizable to the eye is due to the fact that each doodle was drawn extremely slowly and meticulously. However, I also learned couple positive things from the doodling process. As I was rewatching my Econ 101 lecture about the labor market, I found that doodling helped me retain what I was learning. When you write/take notes, you remember what you’re hearing because the physical motion of writing helps you process and retain the information. When I was doodling pictures along with the written notes, I felt like it helped me even more with retaining the information because, I think, psychologically, I was associating the information with the doodles. I also found doodling to be quite therapeutic. There is something quite soothing about just moving your drawing pen on the paper and contemplating what to draw next. The only downfall for doodling notes was that it took a long time for me to draw everything, but I think it’s because I suck at drawing. For that reason, I don’t think doodling notes is a very practical way of taking notes.

Find the blog post assignment here

Sketch Post

I learned that it was really fun and entertaining to do a creative notes. This page of notes above is way more appealing to the normal notes that I do. And now looking back, there were some occasions when I got really frustrated taking notes. I think doing visual notes like this can balance my emotions because it alleviates some of my stress.

I’ve found that drawing cute little images make me happy and positive. I’ve never imagined incorporating my own drawings into my notes; however, now I find it enjoyable to create some images in my notes, just for the sake of adding some colors and special elements. Or else notes are simply tedious. Check out the original sources and instructions about this visual notes post here.

Visual Notetaking

The visual approach of taking notes is a completely different experience. In my visual notes, I included a Pie chart to illustrate how small the inventory is compare to Apple’s assets. The line of logic is distributed very clearly with a visual note. More importantly it is more interesting and made taking visual notes more easier to take.

Visual Note Taking

I don’t really think of myself as an abstract person, so it was hard for me to really write notes down as pictures. I mostly put down how I felt during class and tried to include pictures of some of the things we learned. I slept really late on Sunday, so waking up early in the morning for chemistry class was not fun. I included a picture of me in a chair, with a speech bubble indicating that I was sleeping. I did not really sleep through class, but my attention span was not my usual self. I am looking at a large computer screen, symbolizing my tired vision. The chemistry I was learning as well as my textbooks were floating in the air moving upwards, leaving my mind. I drew a spilled chemical on my computer to represent my mind not being able to hold the information anymore. I also drew my breakfast on the side because it was on my mind during class. In conclusion, chemistry is not fun when you are half asleep.

Visual Note Taking

Image created and clicked by me

I’ve never been able to understand from borrowed notes. I feel they’re the most easiest form of understanding for the person who creates them and at the same time daunting for the readers to understand them. So, throughout my attempt to create this visual note, the only thing in mind was to be make it as simplistic as possible. 

This visual note is about a basic economic concept called ‘Opportunity Cost’. Since economics is a social science, my thought process while creating was aligned towards real life examples. Relating it to real life helped me connect the dots better, and now when I see the final product I think it turned out pretty well. I think it made me well versed in that concept. Minimum use of words brought more clarity and thus, making it more convenient to revise. Textual notes might just become my opportunity cost since, I’m going to go visual from now on. I’m glad that I got this assignment , because if not for it I would’ve never tried my hands on visual notes.