Notetaking for the Aesthetic

Personally, notes are a work of art that have to be aesthetically pleasing enough for me to want to go back and read when studying. I used to have certain notebooks from different classes that I just wouldn’t bother reading. Yeah, I would go to class, take notes, and scribble all over them but once I’m outside of the lecture hall, it’s useless. Why? Because looking at my messy and boring notes requires effort to skim through. The enjoyment I received from learning in class is sucked out and spit onto my college-ruled paper via my boring black ball point pen.

However, being in my 3rd semester of college, I believe to have mastered a way to effectively take pretty notes. It’s not necessarily up to par with “bullet journaling” but it is sort of inspired by it. If you’re interested, here’s what you’ll need:

  1. A pack of multi-colored highlighters. The basic 4-pack with blue, pink, green, and yellow will do. No need for a 24-pack with three different shades of blue.Processed with VSCO with g3 preset
  2. Journals/binders of your liking. Take time to pick out a journal you will genuinely enjoy writing in. Some semesters, I splurged and got leather journals from TJ Maxx. This ensured I would avoid writing messy notes because they weren’t cheap. But this year I settled for some colorful spiral notebooks from Target and binders where the loose-leaf paper is my canvas.Processed with VSCO with g3 preset
  3. Black or blue ball point pens. Get a pen you enjoy writing with. My favorite pens to write with are the free ones you get, particularly hotel pens. They’re thin but inky. Do you, though. Also, I don’t recommend buying colorful pens. To use all the ones you want during class is time consuming and unnecessary.Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Penmanship: It’s something to take into consideration but truth be told, as long as you can understand your own writing, that’s all that matters. At one point I went through a calligraphy phase but have since given up on that career and just incorporate parts of it in my notes.

Bulletting: Figure out how you’d like to bullet and essentially organize your notes. If you’re going to be copying down straight from the power point, you can just use the title of the slide followed by bullets underneath + any additional notes you may want to add. I use a few different types of bullets– arrows, asterisks, circles that vary in diameter, x’s, etc. It’s not entirely random, however. I’ve added meaning to most of these in my head. Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Personalization: To elaborate on my brief interest in calligraphy, I like to add UMPH to my notes by consciously making an effort to always use my best handwriting. When working on titles, I may draw brackets or a fancy line underneath. On the border of the paper, I might add little dots and squiggly lines. All personalization happens before or after class. If I get there early, I’ll pull out my notes and highlight/doodle wherever I feel lacks zest.Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Highlighting: I use the highlighters for two reasons– The first, to continue personalizing the page. When something is colorful in an organized manner, I’m more prone to look at it. The second, obviously, is to point out important information. So I highlight my titles to identify what topic I’m looking for, definitions so they stand out, and the bullet points for pretty. To take highlighting a step further, I also use a key to vary the significance of different highlighting methods.     Underline = Mild importance, context for definition, gist of notes | Boxed = Main point for underlined marks | Normal = Probably of higher importance…Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Visuals: In addition to taking your notes, having doodles, sketches, or little graphics that are relevant to the topic you’re writing about helps you look through your notes and make connections that will help your memory when studying. This can include diagrams that compare and contrast, charts to show pro’s and cons, side texts with fun facts or mnemonic devices.


> If you’re up for it, see if the professor posts the slides or lecture somewhere online prior to class. This will give you an idea of how they teach and you’ll know how to organize your notes while they’re lecturing.

> The best thing to happen since lined-paper: Witeout. Mistakes happen and I lowkey find it frustrating to look at my scribbled mess. Something about it makes me want to just rip the whole page out and start again but that’s wasteful. So, witeout is a great & eco-friendly alternative.

I’ve received several compliments on my notes and at one point thought of selling/sharing them with others (but ultimately didn’t) and that inspired me to create this fun and informal guide to note-taking. The pictures I used are from two classes I enjoyed taking: advertising (my major) & psychology. My genuine interest in those courses motivated my prime note-taking skills so keep that in mind.

Good luck with all your endeavors this semester & may you get A’s on all your exams. 



Puerto Ricoooo

This past Spring Break, I went to PUERTO RICO with my good friends Ankevia, Esmeralda, and Jephte. We decided we wanted to go somewhere for spring break and after some planning, ultimately chose San Juan, Puerto Rico. We booked our flights and an Airbnb and on May 11th, we headed to the airport to commence our spring break adventures. Check out some cool pictures and a short description of my days in PR down below!

Saturday, March 11th

It was our first day in Miramar, San Juan at our Airbnb. Our host, Coral, was really cool and the town we were at reminded me a lot of Wynwood in Miami in the type of art that covered the streets. Acquiring food was our first mission and it was a successful one. Afterwards, we joined other tourists and residents in a block watch-party for a baseball game.

Sunday, March 12th

I would die happy if I had cafe con leche, tostada, and revoltillo for the rest of my life. That was our breakfast almost everyday in Puerto Rico and I miss it already. Today we also hit up Old San Juan and explored the island. It’s rich in history and I definitely recommend visiting El Morro Castillo. I also tried Mofongo– a dish Puerto Rico is well known for.

Monday, March 13th

On Monday, we visited El Yunque Rainforest. It’s beautiful and it was fun to explore but be wary of Uber’s & Taxi’s that take you up there. I recommend booking a tour or renting a car and driving there yourself. Later that night we went to a place a lot of locals recommended, “La Respuesta,” a popular night club. It was lit!

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Tuesday, March 14th

We went back to Old San Juan to continue exploring. It was only a $1 bus ride away so why not? This time I did some shopping and checked out la “Plaza de Armas de San Cristobal.”

Wednesday, March 15th

Repeat of Old San Juan and a chill day spent napping at a park and walking around our block.

Thursday, March 16th

We were on our way to el “Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico” and stumbled upon a thrift store! After the museum, we hit the beach for the remainder of the day.

Friday, March 17th

Alas, all good things must come to an end. It was our last day in Puerto Rico so we enjoyed another delicious Puerto Rican breakfast nearby and headed to the airport.

This was my first trip with just friends & it was definitely one I’m always going to remember.

“We didn’t spring break, we sprung BROKE.” -Ankevia



The Start of Spring Semester

It’s been a while since I’ve last posted on my blog & I have a feeling every one of my intros from here on out will start that way. Life gets busy, what can I say?

Winter break was fun! I got to reconnect with my closest friends as well as make some new ones. I’m one week into Spring semester & I’m happy with all my classes. I signed up for ADV3008: Intro to Advertising and I am beyond excited for it. While in class, I had the realization that this class and subject felt right to be in. It’s something I can see myself doing and that’s a nice feeling. I hope I don’t change my mind and I hope things do work out but I’m taking it day by day.

Some of my New Year resolutions include:

  1. Gym 5 out 7 days, let’s get it.
  2. Straight A’s this semester, dale.
  3. Apply to an internship or get involved with an organization.
  4. Learn to code. This will be a gateway to my life long dream of becoming a hacker.
  5. Spend more time practicing my graphic design skills.
  6. Learn more about philosophy/philosophers & read poetry.

We’re half way through the first month of 2017 and I hope it’s treating you well. I have a good feeling about this one.

The Start of College

First week of college and we got hit by hurricane Hermine. Now, a month into college, things are settling down, and so far it’s going well!

There are so many things happening on campus all the time. There was an involvement fair last week where I signed up for a bunch of different clubs–Advertising Club, Portuguese Club, Photography Club, Design Club, Crossfit & a bunch of other ones that show up in my inbox from time to time. I try to go to the gym everyday and I find myself at the library often.

I’m still working on time management. Some days I feel like I have a lot of time to get everything done while other days I stay up until 3AM just to catch up.

My dorm is slowly starting to feel like my home away from home. My roommate, Esmeralda, & I get along pretty well & are into the same things. Here we were going to our first game– FSU vs. Charleston. FSU won!

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Me and Esmeralda before our first game: FSU vs. Charleston!

Here are some pictures of my dorm:

I took some pics of campus so hopefully I’ll be able to upload those to my blog soon! Here’s to the start of college..

In The Midst of The Now Lies The Future

University of Florida

My mom bought this book for me. It’s about the University of Florida and the academics, organizations, campus, admin, etc.

The fact that she bought this & gave it to me shows how near the future is.

I would go to parks and meet other kids and tell them I was sixteen when I was really only just seven. I would see big girls that were eighteen pack their things, kiss their parents, and leave to some other big school for them. And now, I am sixteen and going to some other big school is right around the corner.

I’m scared but also more excited than anything.

Hopefully, U.F. will be my big school.