We covered the research behind how colour can enhance memory performance here.
Now, we've got some ways you can put this into practice, in day-to-day life, or in more specific situations, such as exam or presentation preparation. The methods below are most effective when taking notes initially, but can also be used to condense notes into a more manageable format. In addition to these handy tips, we have 10 stripy speakers to be won, which will hopefully help you through revision sessions. See below for details.
The Cornell Method
The Cornell method provides a systematic format for condensing and organising notes without lots of re-writing. It's simple, efficient, and saves time and effort, and can be used in many situations.
Rule your paper with a small margin (about 7cm) on the left leaving a larger area (about 15cm) on the right in which to make notes.
After writing the more detailed notes in the larger area, use the left-hand space to label each idea and detail with a key word or 'cue'.
Try to link relevant cues by using different colours so they are visually connected.
A brief summary at the bottom of the page may also be beneficial.
To review, cover your notes with a card, leaving the cues exposed. Say the cue out loud, and then say as much as you can of the material underneath the card. When you have said as much as you can, move the card and see if what you said matches what is written. If you can say it, you know it.
The outlining method is a well-organised system if done right. Outlining records content as well as relationships. It also reduces editing and is easy to review by turning main points into questions. This method is particularly effective when you have allowed enough time, and space, between each point to organise your notes.
Place the most general points farthest to the left.
Indent each more specific point to the right.
Levels of importance will be indicated by distance away from the major point.
Label indents with bullets, numbers, or not at all, as spatial relationships will indicate the major/minor points.
The Mind Map is a dynamic and exciting tool to help all thinking and planning become a smarter and faster activity. By creating a Mind Map, it is possible to plan every aspect of our lives, whether this be communication, problem solving, recalling memories, revising, teaching or managing time. This method is sometimes also called a memory tree.
Write down or draw the central topic or theme in the middle of the page.
Draw branches from the central topic detailing each sub topic, making sure to leave space for further notes.
From each of these branches, draw more branches detailing the sub groups of the main categories, adding images where you want.
Add as much or as little information to each branch as you want, or try using a colour group for each branch.
You can see the full range of Stabilo writing instruments here.
Win a set of speakers!
We know how boring revision can be, so the kind folk at Stabilo have given us 10 sets of bluetooth speakers to giveaway and liven up those cramming sessions. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is let us know how you use colour when you revise! You can comment in the box below, or on our Facebook and Twitter pages*. For those of you who commented on the blog post on the old Cult Pens site, we've not forgotten or lost your entries, we have a print out!
The competition will be open from 8th April to 8th June 2014. Winners will be selected and notified on 9th June 2014, and announced in the comments section below. Entrants must be aged 16 years or over. One entry per person.
*Disclaimer: Cult Pens take no responsibility for extreme procrastination resulting from writing entries to this competition.
*This competition has now closed*
Thank you to everyone who entered, we have now selected and notified our 10 lucky winners! The winning entries came from Zara, Carl, David, Mark, Luo, Samuel and Kathryn from the blog post on the old site, from Becky and Paul who entered on Facebook, and from Becca who got in touch via Twitter. Congratulations, your speakers will be with you soon!