Outline notes can be used in high school and college classes, work fields, and around the house. Once proficient, outline notes are very useful and effective within everyday life.

Step 1: Gathering Materials

Notebook Paper or Spiral, Wide or College Rule-- based on your preference

Pen or Pencil


Textbook, PowerPoint, Word Document, Lecture, (anything you're taking notes over)

Good workspace

*Take picture of all materials*

Step 2: Heading Your Notes

Write down the date, class subject, chapter, presenter (if applicable) and where you are obtaining the information. Write these on the first two lines of the paper or on the top right corner, depending on your preference.

*Take picture of heading written on first two lines & top right corner*

Step 3: Titling Your Notes

Write the title of your notes on the center third line if you wrote the heading on the first two lines, or in the center of the first top line if you wrote the heading on the top right corner. The title should be an overview of the notes.

*Take picture of titles written both ways*

Step 4: Write the Subtitle/Concept

After writing the title, you will place the subtitle or concept on the next line of the section that you will be currently taking notes over. For example, vocabulary would be a subtitle of chapter 1 notes.

Step 5: Write Descriptive Key Points

While writing under each subtitle, use descriptive points that allow you to understand the concept. Indent to add more information about the concept. Allow yourself a blank line or two after each concept in case you have more information to add later.

Step 6: Details

With an indention and using numbers or lowercase letters, whichever you prefer, add more details about the key points of the subject.

Step 7: More Specific Details

If needed, indent again and use dashes or dots, whichever you prefer and write out more specific details or key words about the details.

Step 8: Emphasize Key Points

Emphasize key points by underlining, highlighting, or circling the point. This will allow you to come back at a later time to review the notes and will help with the key point standing out.

Step 9: Use the Margins

Within the margins of your notes, you can connect points within your notes to help you understand how they are related, add a small description or definitions to items you do not understand. You can also star or circle specific notes that may appear on an exam.

Step 10: Summarize

Write a summary of the ideas and facts from the title and each subtitle to allow yourself to place the notes into your own words to help you understand and remember them easier.