Cornell Note taking methodology – and bringing in Mindmaps


In general, one of the key areas that one looks at more efficient tools is in the area of Note-taking. During a cursory look for some tools for my OneNote (this is a MS tool that is your notebook on the computer-but more of that later), I came across this tool called the Cornell Note taking methodology. I spent some trying to read up on the same, and was impressed with the simplicity of the whole thought.  That led me to think of how I could incorporate a “mini-mindmap” into the methodology to make it even more relevant.

In my mind, the route to Note taking using ONLY mindmaps should be step 2- and start with the note-taking methods you are comfortable with but use Mindmaps for building your memory. Once you comfortable with the concept, then move on to creating notes using mindmaps. I realize how difficult it is at times to try to take notes only in Mindmaps when the School teacher or lecturer is making you take down notes! 

The way to take the Cornell Notes is as follows:


This format provides the perfect opportunity for following through with the 5 R’s of note-taking:

  1. Record – During the lecture, record in the main column as many meaningful facts and ideas as you can. Write legibly.
  2. Reduce – As soon after as possible, summarize these facts and ideas concisely in the Cue Column. Summarizing clarifies meanings and relationships, reinforces continuity, and strengthens memory.
  3. Recite – Cover the Note Taking Area, using only your jottings in the Cue Column, say over the facts and ideas of the lecture as fully as you can, not mechanically, but in your own words. Then, verify what you have said.
  4. Reflect – Draw out opinions from your notes and use them as a starting point for your own reflections on the course and how it relates to your other courses. Reflection will help prevent ideas from being inert and soon forgotten.
  5. Review – Spend 10 minutes every week in quick review of your notes, and you will retain most of what you have learned.

So where does Mind mapping come in?

The Cue Columns are your key words that we use in creating mindmaps (Could be both 4 and 5 in the R’s).

Think of creating your own “mini-mindmap” here which will help you create your own unique tool to memorize the contents of the page. 

Create a more detailed mindmap of the full chapter once the chapter is over- and you can review every element of the chapter easily.

Try it out.

Checkout more about this methodology here –


Your Reply