I don’t know if you have noticed this, but the internet, lately (or, at the very least, Pinterest and Tumblr) have been a little obsessed with studying. There are the organization guides. The essay-writing tips. The “studyblr” blogs that, in finely-honed calligraphy and color-coordinated highlights, tell you exactly how to get straight A’s.
But let’s be real for a sec: Unless you are a very, very specific kind of person–you know, the kind who has never gone a full day without color coding at least one thing, and can tell you the difference between a Muji pen and a Sakura pen in a microsecond, and gets itchy if there is one stray blotch on an otherwise unblemished set of notes from class–your notes aren’t going to end up looking like the ones you see on the aspirational study-type Pinterest and Tumblr pages. And, as a result, this might make you feel as though you should give up on having any kind of neat, cool-looking notes. But this, if you will pardon my fiery rhetoric for a moment, is codswallop. You, too, can have good-ish notes that may even fool the casual passerby into thinking that they are done by the very same person who runs a popular studyblr blog on Tumblr. You just need to know how to do it the right way–so, check out these lazy ways to make your notes look good here:
1. Actually, learn the difference between pen types:
If you want the smooth, seamless look that a lot of studyblr notes have, it’s important to learn about the different types of pens you can use and what they do. You don’t have to use them all, but pick and choose your favorite types and go from there.
2. Make a simple bullet journal:
Bullet journals, the way you’ve probably seen them in the past, can be a little intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be that way–just focus on the basics, like the one above (which, admittedly, does look great) and go from there.
3. Copy your class notes over in pen:
Okay, so maybe this isn’t exactly *lazy*, per se, but it won’t exert any skills other than the ones you already have. All you have to do is copy your notes after you leave class–this way, they’ll look much neater and help you remember what you learned.
4. Use graph paper:
Graph paper will automatically make you more inclined to take neater notes. It’s especially great for math, since it makes equations easier to follow.
5. Don’t do all-nighters:
As you can see above, they don’t always result in the best notes. (Although that is a beautiful drawing!) Instead, make sure you’re sleeping regularly–if you always prioritize notes and studying over sleep, it’ll be more likely to result in burnout rather than amazing grades.
6. Make a “studyspace” in whatever place that works for you:
Don’t feel like getting out of bed today? That’s fine! Bring your pens and paper to you. This way, you can stay lazy and work on your studies, and makes the act of studying and note-taking less intimidating.
7. But try and make your desk a place where you’d want to spend time:
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; just make sure your desk is a place where you actually want to get your work done–AKA clean, essentially. You can add other things, like candles and pencil jars, as you see fit.
8. Draw out anything that can be drawn:
It doesn’t have to look as good as the ones above, obviously, but drawing things out can help you remember things better and add a cool spark to your notes.
9. Make a timeline:
This is another way to add a cool visual component to your notes with only a little effort–trace out anything that could be quantified under some sort of timeline or flowchart. This works for history, obviously, as well as a lot of aspects of science, English, and math. It’s a great studying technique, since it helps you map out the event in your brain, and makes your notes look awesome.
10. Trace over your notes with a highlighter:
This always looks cool–meaning you’ll be more inclined to read anything you trace over–and takes seriously minimal effort. All you need to do is trace over the notes you already have in a color you like.
11. Use a printable study guide:
Not an artsy person? I can relate. But you can actually print out study and note guides that give you a template for taking notes that look as great as the ones you see on Tumblr. So, if you’re on the lazy side, do this!
12. Give yourself a (simple) highlighting guide:
The act of color-coding seems really intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be that bad. You can follow the guidelines above–or anything similar–to create a highlighting process that works for you.
13. Take your notes in chunks:
This might seem like it takes more effort, but it’ll actually make the act of taking notes less intimidating.
14. Use colored paper:
Sometimes, a change in backdrop is all you need to make your notes look great–if you get off-white or any other color of paper, this could automatically make your notes look much more polished.
15. Remember that it doesn’t need to be perfect:
Take a deep breath! Your studying doesn’t have to be performative–instead, just do what feels right to you. It’s better that way.
Are you trying to take better notes? Are you going to follow any of these guidelines? Let us know in the comments!