plz help! Highlighter ideas/suggestions

by Kitty Hawk Kitty Hawk, ADN, RN Member Nurse

Specializes in hospice, ortho,clinical review. Has 5 years experience.

Hi All...

Like many others, I'm in the midst of orientation this week and we just received all our STUFF :D (to put it mildly) Actually our outlines, rotations etc are very well organized.

Anyway I have pared down my "old" system of having a set of highlighters in the blue/green/purple AND the orange/pink/yellow families, for just a set of, yellow and orange (the type with the post it tabs attached)

Perhaps b/c I'm so excited...I'm just not thinking straight for organization on this! I thought for sure when they'd go over our would just come to me like a lightbulb how I want to highlight..but it's not!!!

I know how to highlight (minimum key concepts, not entire paragraphs etc..) when reading, class notes I don't need help there BUT I can't figure out how to color coordinate!! I want to highlight when I have tests, things due etc...on the class schedule...but then how do I intermix it when highlighting for readings?...Any insights of what you guys do would be great! Looking for info on what colors you use for what...and if you use the post it index marker tabs or whatever they you utilize them.





801 Posts

hey there. just wanted to tell you my "system" with the hi[color=sandybrown]ghlig[color=sandybrown]hters, and i've used the same system throughout nursing school. i always have one color for what the instructor reads from the book, sometimes it's a lot, sometimes it's one sentence from a paragraph. from my experience at my school, our tests are from the instructors lectures, not from the book necessisarily. i use another color for items pointed out that they "said" would be on the test. this doesn't always mean they'll put it on there, but you can never be certain. i use another color for key terms, lab values and meds etc... that we are told to know.

i always record lecture on my digital recorder and i listen and write down almost every word they said in a set of notes that i mix with my book highlights (above) and any handouts. once i have all of my notes made from handouts, lecture (recorder) and my book notes/highlights i only study that. i also put it in the order in which it was taught. this repetition helps me remember and recall info. during tests i've actually visualized the page and where on the page i had certain info (top, middle etc..) if you're a visual learner than you'll find you will do this as well.

helpful hint:i know this sounds cooky, but i will sometimes draw some silly something at the top of each page. (smiley face, stars, etc..). it also helps me recall the page during a test and remember what content was on the page. (it works for me!) there have been countless times where i will have 30-40 pages, front and back, of hand written notes for one test, so anything that helps is good. my friend and i also made characters (drawn-horribly-ha!) for people with certain illnesses, mosty for the neuro section because all of the diseases started to run together. ex: parky parkinson . when we took the test and we had questions on that particular illness we would think to what they looked like (shaky hands, shuffled gait etc..) i know it sounds like rubbish, but this helped us distinguish between the different illnesses. it's no different that making up silly ways to remember lab values etc...

back to the notes: :uhoh3: i put all of my notes in one place so when i start to study, it's all there, organized, in my notebook and i don't have 14 different things to study from. i also highlight the main topic of every section and put 3 stars next to anything i know to be highly important. this system has always worked for me, hopefully it will work for me this semester as well... :uhoh21:

i know everyone has their own style, and you should find what works best for you. these are just some things that has always helped me to remember, since i don't have a mind like a steel trap :lol2:. good luck to you!!!

p.s. as for your calendar of events, keep it all on a planner or on a calendar. highlighting test dates in one shade and another shade for skill tests always worked well for me. believe me, you won't forget when you have something important due or to do, highlighter or no.

ZooMommyRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, ICU, ER, Peds ER-CPEN. Has 14 years experience. 913 Posts

anything covered in lecture I tag with a green highlighter, then after the exams I tag with purple higleghter stars the concepts covered, for each section we also have a set of objectives, if something in the book or notes covers those they get tagged with an orange one, at the end of it all I've found anything with all 3 tags is almost always on the final exam



253 Posts

wow, thru 9 years of college thus far and almost 2 degrees, I can probably count the number of times I've used a highlighter on one hand. LOL. You guys crack me up with all the colors and stuff. I just read, take a few notes, and review what the instructor said was important. Also, I live by what is on my calendar, either digitally on my palm tungsten, or on the wall on my 4 month planner.

Good luck with all those colors, they hurt my eyes to think about them... haha..


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