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I have always refrained from making notes from my childhood. But now, my adviser wants me to make notes of what I study saying that it would be very beneficial for me in future. So, following his advice, I started making notes. But it turns out that it is quite boring and time consuming. And I feel that even if I want to look into something later, I can look it directly from a book. So, my questions are:

  1. How does making notes help you in your research or possibly teaching?

  2. What other pros/cons are there?

1 Answer 1

I'm not sure what kind of answer you are expecting, but it should not be surprising for you to learn that people assimilate information in different ways.

Myself, I have a good visual memory and remember a lot by looking at the board/presentation when at a lecture. When the presenter is only speaking without showing anything, I have much harder time remembering everything, and am distracted easier. Note-taking definitely helps, but only when I know I won't be getting any other study materials, or the materials themselves are deficient.

Later on, when I study and read on my own, I can recreate mentally how the board looked like and quickly relate terms and phenomena that I'm reading about with what I heard earlier. This speeds up learning significantly for me.

This is what works for me -- other people have completely different ways of studying. I'd suggest you do it in a way that's comfortable for you. If you don't see the value of taking notes, just don't do it, period. Present your case to your supervisor and explain that you have your own way of organizing information, and you should be able to do so in a way that's comfortable to you. The supervisor should be trusting you enough to let you do so -- in graduate studies, students should have much more freedom to explore their ideas and work on their own without much hand-holding. Otherwise you have a much more important problem to solve -- how to avoid being micromanaged by your superiors.