Taking notes and highlighting study material

Discussion in 'Russian Martial Arts' started by Brian King, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. Brian King

    Brian King Master of Arts

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    The suggested media thread has a couple of links to book recommendation lists
    http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?100479-Suggested-media
    that Systema and other Martial arts practitioners might find useful. Having the book is a part of the work, another is reading it, another is learning the material found with-in its covers. One of the things that helps retain the material is the practice of taking notes. Below I will describe some of the practices that I have found beneficial in note taking. Perhaps it will help the martial student. Perhaps others have systems that they have found work for them, please share.


    Books:
    Highlighting-
    I am a big highlighter, underliner, and note taker. My books are not good loaners nor worth much on the resale market. That is ok. The post it note stickies has helped me to mark books without actually defacing them as much. I have a packet of small post it note flags or arrows of different colors for each book that I am reading with seriousness. On the table of contents page along the the length of the page I post a different colored post-it-note flag for each section/chapter. So when the book is shut there is a line of different colors each one for each chapter. At the start of each chapter along the top of that page I put a post it flag of that chapters color. As I read the material and wish to highlight I do or underline but then put a post it note flag of that chapters color on the length edge of page. Chapter one’s color could be yellow for instance and after reading that chapter, the length edge of the book pages might have a bunch of yellow flags. Chapter twos color might be red and along the the length edge of the book might be a bunch of red flags and so on. I sometimes post the flags for each chapter in the same area of the pages so that looking at the open side of the book there might be an inch of yellow flags then a little lower an inch of red then a little lower an inch of blue and so on. This along with the single flag at the top of the pages makes finding the right chapter when relocating or rereading the information at a later date a snap. Sometimes rather than posting the post it notes on a single area of the page I post the note along the same line as the information being highlighted, so that when the book is closed there is more a colored line going the length of the book rather than just a single inch or so. Both ways work well but should be consistent for each book. What the system of highlighting does is makes it really easy to find information that I thought interesting and important. I have visual cues from the table of contents that allows me to look at the top or side of the book and quickly find the area storing the information

    Notes-
    I tend to take a lot of notes when reading (always actually and almost always have a notepad and pen on me). I usually keep a notebook near and while reading will write down thoughts that occur while reading the material. It can either be a quote from the book, or perhaps the authors thoughts but often it is myself paraphrasing the authors thoughts or myself arguing with the author and interacting with them. Writing it all down helps to frame and retain the information. I am not good at transferring these notes to a digital format but recommend that those that are good take that step as well.


    E-readers
    Love them. They make note taking and highlighting so much less cumbersome and making searching for and retrieving the information as easy as stroking a few keys. I mostly use both Amazon Kindle and I-Books as my readers (with an ipad) I prefer Ibooks over Amazon for the ease of note taking and highlighting (I-Books lets you highlight and leave post notes right on the page in different colors of highlight (five colors) or underline the text) I like being able to highlight in different colors within a book as I have assigned each color a subject. General, martial arts/Systema, religious etc... Amazon has a far better selection of books and a better means of searching for similar types of work. There are a couple of other readers I use but Amazon Kindle and Apple I-books are the two most often used.

    I highly recommend highlighting and taking notes while reading books and magazines and have described my favorite and most often used methods. For those reading this that also take notes I am curious as to what method you use and find most helpful?


    Warmest regards
    Brian King
     

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