How to Highlight Notes Effectively Like A Pro

How can you highlight effectively?

1. Highlight what makes sense

Sometimes, we get too overwhelmed using highlighters and we just want to highlight everything on textbooks and notebooks.

Well, you should change that habit of highlighting almost everything as this most of the time cause distraction.

Highlight texts that are very important and also easy to comprehend.

For example, consider the following examples if you want to highlight an important point in a history book:

  1. Dates or events that have a major impact and are still recognized up to this day.
  2. Name/s of the person/people that made a great contribution.
  3. His/her contribution.
  4. Things that trigger his/her contribution.

These are the things that are very important to keep in mind when highlighting a history book.

2. Color-code your highlighters

3. Avoid highlighting too much

What highlighter color should I use for studying?

Highlighters with different colors

Yellow is the most common highlighter used for studying.

There are hundreds of highlighter colors out there. The common practice for choosing the highlighter color for studying is something that grabs attention.

For example, you might want a neon highlighter swatch in order for you to easily remember the text.

I recommend you to avoid using pastel highlighters when highlighting study notes, as most of the time they tend to be hard to see.

How do you annotate and highlight?

Highlighting text on a notebook

Annotating your highlighted text won’t take you minutes to learn. Simply write down a short note depicting to your highlighted word.

This can be a text that is hard to comprehend or something you doubt and you need more information about it.

By annotating, it will help you study more efficiently.

Is highlighting an effective study strategy?

Highlighting is one of the ways that helped me study better.

I know there are some that don’t find highlighting notes as effective, but as for my own experience, highlighting helps me more understand and comprehend a point because it is emphasized and grabs more attention.

It is effective if you focus more on information of the text rather than nitpicking words to highlight that may not add relevance.

Highlighted texts on a textbook

Does highlighting improve memory?

There is no such study that claims highlighting will improve your memory holistically.

Highlighting, in most cases, helps you digest a text much faster. It will also help you member those attention-grabbing words.

Other times, it’s hard to take in all the information you want as you highlight things in random.

So, there is no guarantee that highlighting will improve your memory.

How much of a text should you highlight?

2-3 words are enough to highlight a specific point. Highlighting more than 3 words are sometimes hard to remember and not that easy to comprehend.

The best practice in highlighting is to highlight shorter text as possible.

Pro tip: If you highlight everything, you highlight nothing.

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