I have never been an excellent notes-taker. If you see me in class, you would probably only notice a laptop with me typing away while a lecture is happening. My methods for note-taking is mostly due to the fact that I can process things easier in auditory fashion rather than just reading about it or checking a PowerPoint presentation.
I’ve always loved reading big texts since I was a child. My first memory of even LEARNING how to read was my sister helping and teaching me with the novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. That being said, I have a big problem annotating on play-text media, mainly because I have always been taught to take care of my books and I feel that writing stuff on it is a way of defacing the medium itself. However, the best method I started doing that may still be attributed a little bit to notes-taking is to simply type my thoughts into my laptop (specifically the program OneNote) and making sure that the referenced pages are noted and in bold for me to be able to piece things together when I start reading them back.
This may not be effective to most people as I do have to admit, it does take a lot of effort to keep thoughts in place while typing. It is easier, after all, to simply write things down (and faster too!). A lot of times I read back into what I have typed as notes and you can imagine my surprise finding random spelling errors produced from the rush of typing, especially when you have lots of thoughts you’re trying to convey. However, I found that this is something I am more comfortable with and effective to me personally, in part because of how I “trained” myself with this method for fear of defacing a book. Another part of this is because anytime I see a word or a passage that I am unfamiliar with, I can simply put a start and type it in for me to find out what it means at a later time. Once that is done, it is easy for me to fit things together like a puzzle and have ideas consistent with what the author was trying to show.
Now when it comes to my annotation practices on film, I find it just a tad more difficult simply because of me being tempted to enjoy watching it rather than doing an analytical take on it. Also, when comparing it to reading play-text, a film already supplies you with the director’s rendition of it. Everything is made for you to see, the ideas are all presented on the big screen. Whereas in play-text, what you see in your mind is your own imagination and your own rendition of how a specific scene or situation goes. With that being said, it takes a lot more effort for me to take notes while watching film because it is harder to see the various themes or underlying elements that each scene is trying to convey. Often times as well with film, I find it easy to miss some important scenes if I ever do take notes at the same time. I simply find it harder to type in “check scene at 31:50” and then notes after that because by the time that is typed in, I might already have missed a couple important subsequent scenes.
My method for taking notes are not vastly different, simply because I am comfortable with working on a laptop versus writing stuff down on a notebook for either play-text or film annotating. However, I feel that reading play-text is easier for me to do, and I am able to say that I am a more effective note-taker when it comes to annotating books and novels because I am able to live in my own imagination. The ideas stick better because they are of my own, and I am able to remember them more easily than trying to remember another person’s rendition of it.