Cornell Method

The Cornell method was devised in the 1950s by an expert in study techniques from Cornell University, Walter Pauk.

In spite of its antiquity, this method is still widely commented today, so I thought I’d give it a chance. That’s why I’ve started to try it at conference talks. This method has two parts: A) Prepare the sheets according to a template; and B) Learn how to use the template.



  • Greatest to take notes in class.
  • A column to the left to write key words or phrases when reviewing the notes.
  • A bottom zone to write down a summary or key ideas of the leaf content.
  1. Take notes in class in the large area.
  2. After class (no more than 24 hours later), read it again and write questions on the left side area that are answered with the content of the notes.
  3. Recite what you read: cover the large area, read the questions and try to answer them aloud.
  4. Reflect on what has been read: meaning, general rules that apply, what relationship you have with other topics …
  5. Review each week the notes you prepared using the left area, and if necessary, make an even more concise summary in the lower area.

First problem I encounter when I use this system: I have little space to write in class. Although on the scheme it seems that there is much space, when I start writing I find it very small. That means that every hour of talk will occupy me several more pages than usual.

Nevertheless, it seems to me a success of this method to reserve spaces for abstracts and keywords. When you study something very visual that space is good to include drawings or schemes to accompany the writing in class. In fact, I usually leave a wide margin to the left precisely for that in my notes. But I find it useful to separate clearly the area of notes and the summary with a straight line, to be able to use each zone in a different way when reviewing.

If the class is somewhat confusing, you may have to use the side area to rewrite the subject, or even that you have to organize your notes or use notes of other years. At first it seems that a lot of paper is wasted, but I think if you take notes by hand it is worth it, so try the system.

If you take notes on a laptop, it is not necessary to use a special template, because then in your study time you can modify and complement the notes as much as you want depending on what software you are using. Although they say out there that taking notes on computer does not allow to retain information equally well that if you take it by hand, but that will be subject for another post.

How to use Habitica

Habitica is a very useful application to obtain necessary habits in your life, for a better organization and to become a more productive person, using simple methods like playing a role-play game where you control a character you develop. If you need the motivation to start something new and to be perseverant in it, then this is your article.

After you remove the Habits, Daily and Pendings by default, you can begin your adventure in Habitica by doing three simple steps.


First, add some tasks. You can add more later, as they occur to you.

  • Add those tasks you do once or rarely in the Pendings column, one by one.
  • The activities that you do daily or on some specific day add them in the Daily column. Click the pencil icon for each item to select the days for when you will do it.
  • Add the habits that you want to establish in the Habits column. Edit each habit to determine it as a good habit (+) or bad habit (-).
  • Personal “rewards” activities that you want to use as a motivation or that you want to allow in moderation can be added to the rewards column.

Bonus: If you lack inspiration, review Habits, Daily , Pendings and Rewards by default.


When completing your assignments you will earn experience points (PE) which will help you level up, as well as gold coins (GP) that will help you to buy Rewards. If you fall into some bad habit or failure to complete your Daily activities you will lose health points (HP). In that sense, the experience and health bars in Habitica will serve as a fun indicator of your progress toward your goals.


Once you are familiar with the basics you can get more out of Habitica with these great features:

  • Organize your tasks with Tags and Lists.
  • Customize your Avatar (using the user menu).
  • Purchase and change your equipment.
  • Choose a class (upon reaching Level 10) and use specific skills for her (Levels 11 to 14).
  • Connect with other users in the Tavern, a Group, Guilds or participate in a Challenge.
  • Collect pets collecting eggs and hatching potions. Feed them to create Mounts.
  • Defeat monsters and accumulate objects in Missions.
  • Enjoy your stay in the Habitica world!

A tutorial about how to quickly use Habitica (click me)