Let’s share how we take Japanese notes


When I was in the US, my notes were mine and I never really paid attention to others’ notes and no one read mine, so they were very messy.

Since moving to Japan and teaching English, one thing really surprised me: most students put a lot of effort into making their notes look nice and tidy. They’ll highlight verbs, write translations and notes in different colors respectively, section things off in boxes, and more.

Now I’m studying for the JLPT N3 and often take notes on grammar and words I’m having a hard time remembering in my bullet journal. I’ve been trying to keep it cute but simple so that I can quickly review the information.

Now that I often help check students’ notebooks and see them while walking around the classroom, I’m very interested in how other people take notes. So let’s share our notes!!


That’s a very nice way of demarcating sections in a notebook. ^^ Now I feel intensely boring with how I do it. I only have access to my transcribed notes in Google Docs right now, but it’s done broadly in the same way.

These are older notes, since I’m always behind on typing them out. Far, far behind. >> Why wasn’t I more disciplined?!

I mostly like there to be enough space - I don’t like rereading and revising off very densely written pages for long.

I didn’t add much highlighting to this, but sometimes I use highlight colours to mark what belongs together, which can also make it easier to look up. If I see at the beginning of a chapter that [bla] is marked in yellow, I just have to scroll until I see yellow.


In my notebooks, I always make sure to keep a table of content. I number all the pages, and use the last few pages to make sure I can look things up easily. Same in Google Docs, of course. The table of content links to the bookmark at every chapter title, and the “back to top” link goes to the table of content.


My notes are very unorganized. For one, I hardly ever take them. Secondly, I write them fast and messily. C, I just write them on the page I am working on at that moment, usually underneath the class quiz we do at the start of each lesson. Here is a picture of the quiz and notes from last Thursday (might be more interesting to @Omun さん, they’re in Dutch/Japanese) :


There’s a word for eating oneself inside? (18. Zich naar binnen eten)

Is this like Hansel and Grettel


Looks a lot like my notes from when I was a student. Since you have an actual class you do regularly, lumping your notes together by class is probably handy for review. :smiley:


It’s 食い込む. And I had to look it up again, since I remembered it wrong. Clearly my quiz notes should be more detailed.


+1 for “demarcating”


P-people take notes?



I keep notes on my reading, but I also acknowledge (to myself) that it is the act of taking notes that matters. It’s pretty rare I go back to something in my notes.


Definitely relate. :slight_smile: I write them first by hand, and typing them out means I go over everything twice.

It helps to re-read everything (even of it’s boring). ^^ Otherwise, I only pull out my notes when double-checking a grammar point I’m blanking on.


When I kept a separate notebook for Japanese notes I had this problem. Since I started putting them in the journal I always carry, I’ve started sometimes reviewing them when waiting around. Keyword here is “sometimes”.

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