Guide to Beautiful, Effective and Productive Study Notes

Study notes with an array of colorful products next to it including Mildliner Highlighters, ClickArt, Funwari, and more

Are you tired of taking normal and simple notes? Do you want your notes to stand out and look awesome? Well, look no further than this article. We will go over every detail you need to know about taking more visually pleasing notes!

Hello everybody, this is Emily from @emilystudying on YouTube and Instagram, and today, I’ll be showing you how to organize and upgrade your notes, while also guiding you through tons of tips and tricks to take your notes to the next level. Improving your notetaking skills will strengthen your active listening and comprehension of material, thus helping you focus and better understand concepts in your notes. So let’s get started!

Study note with art supplies in pack around it


Here are all the items that I love using for my notes, and everything that I use throughout this article:

  • Sarasa Clip Gel Retractable Pens (Assorted 20pk)These are my favorite gel pens since they have extensive color options and provide the smoothest writing experience.
  • Mildliner Highlighters (25pk) — These highlighters come in soft-hued colors that complement your writing perfectly. They are dual-tipped with a chisel side for highlighting, and a pointed tip for underlining and drawing!
  • Mildliner Brush Pens (15pk) — I love these brush pens as they’re super easy to use, great for beginners, and advanced lettering and calligraphy. The brush pen also comes with a fine point, similar to the Mildliner Highlighters, except slightly thinner.
  • Funwari Brush PensHere’s another amazing brush pen! If you’re looking for a smaller brush pen, flexible tip, and vivid colors, these brush pens are perfect.
  • ClickArt Retractable Marker Pens — When I first tried these, I was impressed by the pen as it’s a bright, fine-tipped marker in a retractable pen. They’re easy and convenient to use, plus they won’t dry out despite being cap-less.
  • Paper — I love using grid paper, but lined paper is also great! You can choose to have a notebook or binder depending on your needs, but both are great options for organizing all your notes.
Organized study notes

How to Organize Your Notes

With all the notes you take, an organized and efficient method of keeping your notes is crucial. The most important thing is developing a system that works for your learning habits.

  • Notebook: If you’re planning on using a notebook, I recommend writing out a table of contents/syllabus on the first page as it helps to see the important overall topics. It’s easy to skip out on the big details and focus on the small details, so laying everything out at the start helps you focus on this. When you’re reviewing content, you can quickly find a specific page instead of viciously flipping through your notebook. With each major topic, I like to use memo note tabs to help differentiate each.
  • Binder: With a binder, you can easily store your notes since you can add and subtract as many pages as needed. You also have more flexibility with the organization as you can store notes, handouts, or homework pages inside.
  • Notes: I try to summarize what is being said as recording everything verbatim would likely cause hand cramps, plus everything is not as important as it may seem; it’s an important skill to learn when notetaking, but as a general tip, I only write things down that I don’t know, or I’ll likely forget if I don’t write down. Therefore, when writing down notes, I only try to capture the main points. If you already know a fact, just skip it, no need to write it down.

Color Schemes

Who doesn’t love colorful notes? I know I do! It’s much nicer to have notes with a coherent color scheme as this will help organize the information, helping you study the material afterwards. I typically use 3-5 colors as I find that too many colors make your notes too busy and confusing. The purpose of a color scheme is to color code, which organizes your notes by having a coherent system. If you use red to indicate the main point of a text, don’t use it to highlight a term’s definition.

Here is a list of things you could potentially highlight: key terms, definitions, key points, formulas, dates, people, events, examples, statistics, questions, or facts. While all of the listed could be your entire page, try not to highlight everything as that will defeat the purpose of highlighting. You need to spotlight what you think is most important, and what you would like to remember.

Creative titles and headers

Title & Subtitle Ideas

To start off, I like drawing a large heading title at the top of my notes. This makes the topics easy to distinguish, and instead of having a plain title written in pen, we can have an interesting title that stands out. The Mildliner Highlighters have an amazing range, and I love using the fine tip for my titles. 

Handwriting tips

Handwriting Tips

I find that having neat handwriting can effectively make your notes more legible and organized, thus making it easier for you to study. The Sarasa Clip Gel Retractable Pen has been my go-to writing pen for years as the ink glides across the page. In your own study time, you can take your time to have more legible and readable handwriting. But this is not always the case, therefore, if you’re in a rush, you can adapt these tips to write neatly.

Heart diagrams

Visuals and Drawings

When note-taking, drawing diagrams can be great for clarifying concepts and making the material easier to read. Visuals can help you effectively memorize more information and you’re more likely to correlate information easier if you have a diagram explaining a concept. These are my steps to creating diagrams:

  1. Lightly outline the image with a pencil
  2. Outline the image with a water-resistant pen
  3. Color the diagram
  4. The Mildliner Highlighters allow you tons of color options and the dual-tipped sides allow you to color in different thicknesses
  5. The ClickArt Retractable Marker Pens have a fine tip, so they are perfect for smaller diagrams or finer details
  6. Pro tip: make your diagram stand out more by adding a shadow to the outlines
  7. Label
  8. Using the Sarasa Clip Gel Retractable Pens with a ruler makes your labels look neater

That’s it! I hope these tips help you on your study note journey and allow you to absorb a high comprehension of the material you’re studying. For more study note tips, check out How to Create Beautiful StudyGram Notes.