So I either sleeped, talked or provoked the teacher throughout my school days. Taking notes is one thing I never did consistenty (or well). Now I'm trying to teach myself something from a book and I figure taking down notes might be helpful/handy. Does anybody have any suggestions to share with me?

Loose outline form, briefly summarizing notable concepts in your own words on note cards with the page number included for easy reference later.

I make notes on 3x5 cards in very loose outline. Always carry them in my shirt pocket. I hardly ever need to look them up, as I write it helps my brain to remember.

thanks for the suggestions guys, but note cards? Is there an advantage to these over notebooks/pads? I tend to prefer the latter.

I never made decent notes in school. Still dont know how to :(

thanks for the suggestions guys, but note cards? Is there an advantage to these over notebooks/pads? I tend to prefer the latter.

Note cards are a bit sturdier and smaller, which make them a little more portable and less inclined to be wrinkled up and destroyed. But really, use notepads if you like them better. The point is really just to find a system that works for you within your own habits and preferences.

I never made decent notes in school. Still dont know how to :(

Me too. I never would go back and look at them so I did not see the reason to take them in the first place.

I use an outline form, but the amount of notes taken varies by content and how well I think I'll remember it. For example, I had a meeting a few weeks ago I took 3 notes, then went back to my office and sent a 1/2 page email to my manager summarizing the meeting. Other times I've taken many more notes and still couldn't remember what had been discussed.

I think taking notes is not essential for remembering something. It is just that some people can remember things by doing so.

What, when all is said and done, do you NEED to know.
Pass a final? Question the instructor A LOT on what they think is "important" and learn it (it WILL be on the final).
Use the knowledge? Screw (or at least back-seat) the grade, and find out what you really need to know, and know it.
Anything else? Why are you spending your time on this?

Everything I need to know that I think I will forget I put in Outlook notes.

For years I carried a Palm or Ipaq for the same purpose, but they are tedious.

Long ago I used a product called Info Select by Micro Logic, I think they are still around.

I date the note and (generally at the top) I include (a lot of) key words, phrases and concepts which I believe I will be likely to search for later. Then I write my note, be it an explanation, a fix, or just important data.

Days, weeks, months, years later, when I am trying to solve an issue or remember the information, whether I remember taking the note or not, I first search my notes to see if I've run across it before. This resolves a meaningful percentage of the things I need to find daily.

I do this when I am researching, studying, or have just determined a solution I am not likely to remember later.

Searching on key words and concepts brings up a lot of information, and is a great way of storing, researching and studying notes.

As I come back to the notes later, I expand on them if I have new information, so my notes are a living thing.

Learning is quite a personal task.
I rarely went back and looked at mine either. But I found out by accident that just taking them helped; perhaps it's the extra 3 microseconds of thought used to decide what to write.
I switched to typing my notes on a laptop. I think it was because I was touch typing, but I quickly realized that I had little idea what I had even taken notes on, never mind what the notes said.
Again, just me; but merely writing the notes improved my retention.
Another 49 of these and you'll have a buck for a half cup of coffee.

One hemidemisemiquaver at a time.

I carry one of those small solid state voice recorders, works well for the most important notes.

One hemidemisemiquaver at a time.

You must not quantize.