Notes taking..

pham0329pham0329 Member Posts: 556
Out of curiosity, how many of you guys take notes while studying, what do you guys note, and how long are they? I just noticed that my notes for the EIGRP section of the CCNP Route exam is sitting at 33 pages (typed). By the time I'm done with the book, my notes will probably be around the 120-150 page range icon_lol.gif. I'm curious because when I watch CBT Nuggets or INE, they have like 8-9 slides, with 4-5 bullet points per slide that contains the relevant information, yet I need 33 pages to do the same thing :\

Any tips on note taking? Also, anyone tried one note? Was hoping to find something other than MS Words because the auto formatting of word annoys me.


  • krjaykrjay Member Posts: 290
    I've used the same method all through college and now in my cert studies. I will take fairly long and detailed notes just like you seem to be doing. When I force myself to type out notes I feel like I remember the information better, even if I am typing verbatim from the book sometimes. After that I will take notes while reading my notes, if that makes sense.

    For example if I wrote down OSI model and listed all the layers and what they do in my first notes I might just write 'OSI model' in the second set of notes just to remind myself oh that's the thing with all the layers, and each layer represents such and such... You get the idea.
    2014 Certification Goals: 70-410 [ ] CCNA:S [ ] Linux+ [ ]
  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    I still take notes in Evernote (This way I can read them no matter where I am), and I try to keep my to point.

    I had taken notes while studying for CWNA, and my notes on the Security objective turns out to be 11 pages or so (Which screen shots)

    he typical notes I take are just usually 1 liners, but everyone's learning style is different. So this also depends on how you are able to learn in the best/easiest method for yourself.
    My Networking blog
    Latest blog post: Let's review EIGRP Named Mode
    Currently Studying: CCNP: Wireless - IUWMS
  • BlackoutBlackout CCENT, CCNA-Security, ITILv3, CompTIA S+, CompTIA A+ Raleigh, NCMember Posts: 512 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I usually hand write all my notes, for me writing it, with an aching hand usually makes me remember. Anything that seems to be uber important I will write down in my trusty nerd diary.
    Current Certification Path: CCNA, CCNP Security, CCDA, CCIE Security

    "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect"

    Vincent Thomas "Vince" Lombardi
  • Todd BurrellTodd Burrell Member Posts: 280
    I've taken a number of Microsoft certification exams prior to working on my CCNA. For most of them I did not take notes, but for the 70-680 (Windows 7 exam) I took over 100 pages of notes. There is no way I could have passed without these notes to review.

    I would recommend taking notes if the exam warrants it - and from what I can see the CCNA probably warrants detailed notes on some of the subject areas.
  • Wall-EDWall-ED Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I haven't taken any notes except the Key Points of Wendell Odom's and CBT's lectures that don't have lab configs (obviously I won't write that)
    But Todd lammle's book I can't take notes from it...
  • alxxalxx Member Posts: 755
    I usually write out notes in an exercise book or on my tablet pc in one note
    and diagrams.

    If in onenote I save into dropbox.
    Started using evernote a bit more.

    Usually try to summarise each chapter of the books plus write out the important points and the more difficult parts. Do the same for uni , work or whatever.
    Goals CCNA by dec 2013, CCNP by end of 2014
  • ZachBZachB Member Posts: 37 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I live by taking notes icon_study.gif I type them out, and create sort of a summary / study guide from the books I read. I helps me retain information. The detail / amount depends on the topic. Some chapters I won't take anything down if I already know what's there, other times there will be lots of detail.
    Currently working on:
    MSFT 70-417
  • genXrcistgenXrcist Member Posts: 531
    I rarely take notes as I usually retain most of what I read. If I do take notes then it is clearer and I can recall the information faster but for the most part I haven't had to take notes at all in order to pass my Microsoft exams. When studying for a MS exam I go through the materials and intentionally try not to remember facts like port numbers, min requirements etc. Then a couple of days before the exam I cram that information so I have it for the exam but after that I make no effort to rememember it. Rehearsing the information in my mind has been sufficient thus far.

    Cisco is different. While I still don't take notes I do read & re-read chapters, watch and re-watch the videos and then run through the configurations from A-Z multiple times as the practiced recall cements the information.
    1) CCNP Goal: by August 2012
  • pham0329pham0329 Member Posts: 556
    When I take notes, I also include examples of how things work, including screenshots of debugs and illustration. I guess that's one of the reason why my notes are so long.

    When I took the MS exam, I didn't really take any notes either. MS exams are all about click this, do that, so it was pretty straight forward. I didn't take much notes for the CCNA either, but starting with the CCNP, there is so much information that I thought if I don't start noting stuff, I'm going to lose forget something important once I move on to the next section of the exam.
  • MrRyteMrRyte Member Posts: 347 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I used to take notes-till I realized how disorganized and futile they were. Now I just try apply what I've learned as soon as possible. (thank goodness for Packet Tracer....)
    NEXT UP: CompTIA Security+ :study:

    Life is a matter of choice not chance. The path to your destiny will be paved by the decisions that you make every day.
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