I really wish I had taken a class in shorthand when I was in high school. I could have used it when I was handwriting my journal, just to keep in practice. It would have been useful in school as well. Now it would really be helpful. I think, if I were to take down the client’s description of the problem, should I get a job where I go to fix people’s computer woes, it would be very handy to be able to read and write shorthand. I am not sure, but it may be becoming a lost art.
I think shorthand is a good way to go when you need to take notes. It would also be a great way to encrypt your journal, should you handwrite one. since it is rare to find anyone who can do shorthand, it would also be a good encryption tool. On the other hand, it is hard to master, depending on the system. People have developed symbols that you use, but if you develop your own, you can probably do ok. My nt tkg mthd invlvd lvng out sum lttrs whn I wrt th wrds. (My note taking method involved leaving out some letters when I wrote the words.) Often when I am taking notes, I would use the Greek letter, theta (q) for th, chi (x) for ch. I would use 1 for one or won, 2 for to, too or two, and 8 for any syllables with the 8 sound, like spcl8 for speculate. It’s hard to type it and Word really hates the method. Learning the letters from other cultures like Greek helps with the diphthongs. For example, using my note taking method, diphthong would be drqng and method would be mqd. the idea is that you represent each diphthong with one symbol, thus preserving the spelling for later transcriptions. Otherwise, diphthong would be dphthng, and method would be mthd, which preserves the spelling, but saves neither time nor space. Using pi (p), for any combination of pi like in pirate (pr8) does well for me as well. I just need to continue trying to use that method of speedwriting as I take notes in these classes. As always, transcribing the notes immediately or within twenty-four hours also helps in keeping the notes fresh in your head as well as readable when you use them to make flash cards or just to study.
In the end, it doesn’t matter what method you use when you take notes. You just have to take them. Taking good notes is only half the battle. The real trick to learning something is just to read the damned notes. After all, what is the point of taking notes if you don’t read them? Just sit down and read the notes for a half hour every day and the information will enter your brain. That’s the secret to study success. Good notes will only take you so far. You have to read them over and over again to learn the subject.