Question of the Week: Note-taking Strategies

I’m using OneNote. I have a notebook set up, and am organizing things into sections and subpages. I have a section for the main Codecademy lessons, and sections for each of the other resources I am sent to. I can take screenshots and write/draw on them to highlight or explain different parts of code. I love it!


Hi everyone!, well I began with online courses this year and with Codeacademy two weeks ago, so trough all that time, I used Evernote to take notes, it’s a really useful tools to have everything in order and organized in the cloud and is available in all devices. But in other cases I really prefer take screenshots when we’re talking about coding or just copy and paste the codesnippet in my notepad and save it. Anyway the objective is, I think, to keep really organized everything either in our computer or the cloud, because I’m certainly sure that we’re going to need that information in the future. Finally, I think Codeacademy cheatsheet is a wonderful idea and I’m really grateful, there are some concepts that need to be updated though.
Happy coding! :star_struck: :love_you_gesture:t3:.


Actually, I much prefer taking notes by hand. It helps me really understand and work through what I’m learning by rephrasing and putting what I learnt into my own words.

I have a stack of paper notebooks at home complete with a dedicated Codecademy pencil case and felt tip pens / highlighters / gel pens for highlighting important stuff.

I have another folder for Codecademy cheat sheets on my computer.


I just write stuff in Google Keep real quick. It’s fast and dirty, but it gets the job done.


I take notes by hand. It takes much longer, but it saves having to flick to a different screen and I actually find that I’m remembering more by writing it out longhand rather than typing.


Always seem to struggle to keep my notes organised. They are everywhere all over the place :joy:


Well as everyone said they’re mostly jotting down notes in the old school way which is jotting it down by hand in paper/notebook whatsoever. I used to jot down notes by hand too, but that changed when I think about should I really waste so much paper on notes related to code?

My alternative way to approach this is taking notes digitally when learning and save more papers which are also good for the planet. This is when I started switching to Notion and store all my notes about for example React & Redux there. That’s basically how I take notes when learning.


I find that rephrasing the lesson notes in my own words helps me check that I’ve understood what I’m learning. And using different coloured pens, circling code blocks and adding questions later all help with the process. So it’s an old fashioned notebook for me. Is it really worse for the environment? If you use a recycled notebook, I wonder whether the carbon footprint might be less than hosting pages of notes on the cloud. But I don’t know!


I use Notion! It’s incredibly useful, I use it for practically everything. In terms of organization, I have a repository of sorts where I keep all my notes, sources, reading material, course material, etc. in their own individual subpages.

Most of my notes are centralized around theory or concepts as opposed to code snippets. These include lectures, articles, books, anything and everything that interests me! Regarding the code itself, I only keep a few tabs that are similar to Codecademy’s cheat sheets.


Previously I wasn’t much of a note-taker as I hate my handwriting and always found trying to organise the notes in such a way that I could use them in the future to be more trouble than it was worth. However, I got into the habit of forcing myself to take notes and the difference in my learning was HUGE. So in summary now I’m a note taking fiend and as such I’ve dabbled with a few different methods of doing so:

  • Rocket book: Old fashioned hand-written notes but with additional functionality such as re-usable pages, auto-sync to email/cloud storage.
  • Standard Notes: Like OneNote/Evernote but OpenSource, privacy-respecting etc. Also has some very nice & useful extensions (e.g. Markdown notes, To-do list notes, spreadsheet notes)
  • JupyterNotebook: My favourite & main method these days since I’ve been focused on Python (though other languages are also supported). Free & OpenSource and allows seemless mixing of markdown and executable code. I basically create little tutorials for myself about whatever topic with headings/explanatory text/executable code examples. Then I push those notes to a github repo so I can access from anywhere.

There’s a bit of a learning curve with JupyterNotebook but once get the hang of it, it’s such a powerful tool.


Sometimes I am too tired as today. It is a bit hard for me or for everyone. English is my second language. Sometimes as I wrote when I am not concentrated(focused enough). I read a declaration as a direction. So it does a different meaning. My brain capacity is most of the time only 1 kb. Therefore I do handwritten notes like this. >>>click me>>>>My Notes<<<<<. Hope it helps somebody, how to learn.


I honestly suck at note taking and have just committing as much as I can to memory :sweat_smile:


My preferred format of note taking is first putting the information in my own words. Then writing the code using the keywords but formatted to understand their layout. Helps me picture the syntax better. Once I’ve done the assigned examples I try to use the code again in a different setting. If I don’t chew on things a bit mentally I find I don’t really understand. I review the next day and create one more version of the code to try to cement the idea in my head.


I keep a copy of my code and notes in a Jupyter Notebook.


The way I take notes is that I take them by hand and then use One-note but before that, I take notes by hand. it takes longer to add the notes after I am done handwriting them. ( I also re-write some notes when I put them in One-note )


I just screenshot it so I can review everything


I’m also in the OneNote crowd. Enjoying my set up so far of codecademy over 3/4 of the screen, and OneNote and VS Code over the other 1/4. I keep a notepad in front of me for occasional scribbles, but as most of my other work/research is pretty much all handwritten, it helps me to keep all my coding notes digital. :nerd_face:


@nicolepanggabeann same thing here, I absolutely love Notion

I approach note-taking in two different ways:
1. Summarizing concepts
I like to write these notes as if I were explaining my new knowledge to my future self. Use examples that are meaningful to me, include the answers to the questions I had…
This way I can write notes that are going to be actually useful to look back at.
I also love to illustrate my notes with drawings (I’ll do a quick drawing on Procreate and then embed it on the page). Sometimes a drawing is enough for me to remember concepts. I love to make my notes as pretty as possible so it won’t be a pain to go through them in the future.

2. Writing a learning journal
I found that writing down the thought process I go through while learning something (the questions I have, the way I understand something, what I thought was really interesting, how I might use this knowledge in my day to day life…) really helps me understand and remember things more easily.
I write down every single question I have while reading the lessons, then I come up with possible answers based on what I already know, and then I do some research to prove if I was actually right. I include links to articles/videos that helped answer my question, they might come useful in the future.
These notes are usually kinda messy, just because my thought process can be quite messy sometimes haha. That’s why I try to both keep a learning journal and make summaries of the concepts I learn.

And yeah, Notion is just the perfect place for me to take these kinds of notes :slight_smile:


I second Onenote. I had to disable autocorrect to get the code to work right. I do like that I can search screen captures for when I get stuck and organize third-party resources. There is also a great extension for the Brave browser that makes it easy to screengrab. It has near-seamless integration with my iPad that makes it easy to add handwritten notes.


I always take pen & paper notes. Was forced to try digital notes in high school and it just doesn’t help with remembering the content nearly as well. When you’re writing, you have to slow down more, which helps you reflect, and I think there’s research that says the physical act of writing helps form the new connections in your brain? Maybe a while from now I’ll look seriously behind the times, but so be it :woman_shrugging:

For my coding notes I’ve been scribbling initial notes on scrap paper, then when I’m done with a section or concept, I’ll transfer it in neater writing to my “real” notebook. While I’m learning, I can jot down ideas and insert things without worrying about readability, then later the reorganization and rewriting process acts like a review.