I am well aware of the time and effort required for people with learning disabilities to take notes. When listening is added to mix it becomes so much harder to decipher what is being said, write a summarized version on a piece of paper then return my attention to the presenter without falling behind. While is school, I can provide my documentation and be approved for a note taker or to use a recording device, and provide a letter to my instructor giving me permission to use a recoding device or request a student note taker from the class.
At school, requesting these services are simple and usually handled within the first couple of visits. In the workplace it is a whole new situation. I was far too embarrassed to tell my supervisor, I needed help during on-the-job training exercises. I had to learn quickly how to learn on the fly and what jobs, I felt I could actually do well. Through the year, and with the assistance of Mitch Glazier and Lee Gelmacher, I learned some quick tips to better survive in the workforce as well as a job training situation.
I begin by sitting in the front of the classroom or training situation to put as many distractions behind me; rather than, dealing with them in peripheral vision or right in front of me. I begin my notes with the date and purpose; such as, Management 491 6/24/2015. I try to write anything in my notes that is written on the board or presented digitally. I try to substitute keywords or phrases, and if there is a digital presentation, I list the slide number. I do my best to recreate diagrams on paper. If using a recording device, I will periodically write the time and date on the counter making it easier to find when I am struggling with homework or preparing for an exam. I use a star to indicate items I believe may be text or essay questions. Many times, I will wait for a question asked by another to be answered before asking my instructor or trainer to repeat themselves.
After class or the training session, I go back over my notes and fill-in any areas needing more clarity, and add an example to make it easier to recall the information. So I do not forget to come back to my notes, sometimes set an alarm on my phone reminding me to re-read the notes before going to bed for the night. This helps keep everything fresh in my head, for a better chance of remembering. The greatest thing I do to make note taking easier, is to read the chapter or training materials before the information is presented.
Coming Next: Study Strategies in Memorization