Develop a system for taking notes. As obvious as it seems, make sure your pencils are sharp and your ink pens actually have ink and you have the correct notebook or writing medium (lined/unlined paper)…etc.
Then review the topic the instructor is covering that day. If you’re outlining, a pre-prepared topic sheet with plenty of blank space will allow you take adequate notes. If the instructor hands out a topic sheet at the beginning of class, use that for your basic outline.
If you’re creating a visual map, you can follow the same steps as the outline; review the material beforehand and use any written materials the instructor may provide as a guide for your map.
Listen and condense what the instructor is saying – Don’t attempt to write everything verbatim
Use special abbreviations for terms that will help you speed up the physical note taking process.
Stick to keywords and very short sentences
If taking an academic class, look for key phrases
Sit up front so if there are formulas or solutions written on the board, you can copy them correctly