Make Notes: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
May 1, 2024

"Make notes" refers to writing down information, thoughts, or observations, usually in a brief and informal manner. This act is often performed to aid memory, clarify thoughts, or record information for future reference. Notes can be made in various contexts, such as during lectures, meetings, reading, or planning.

In short:

  • It means to write down information or thoughts.
  • It is used for memory aid, clarification, or future reference.

What Does "Make Notes" Mean?

"Make notes" involves jotting down important information or observations for later use. The process can vary from simple bullet points to more detailed annotations. It's a fundamental method for ensuring that key information is not forgotten and is easily accessible for future use. The act of making notes can also help with understanding and organizing thoughts.

More about the phrase's meaning:

  • It can involve various methods, including writing by hand or using digital tools.
  • It's used in educational, professional, and personal contexts.
  • It helps in organizing and retaining information.
  • It can be tailored to individual preferences and needs.

Where Does "Make Notes" Come From?

The phrase “make notes” is a combination of two words, “make” and “notes.” “Make” is from the Old English word “macian” which means “to construct, create.” “Notes” comes from the Latin “notare,” meaning “to mark or note.” As the practice of creating notations or records became common, the phrase “make notes” likely evolved naturally in English. It simply refers to the act of creating records or notations about something.

10 Examples of "Make Notes" in Sentences

Here are examples of how "make notes" is used:

  • During the lecture, she made notes on the key topics.
  • He always makes notes during meetings to remember the important points.
  • While reading the novel, she made notes in the margins.
  • They made notes on the blueprint to suggest changes.
  • Before starting a new project, making notes on a clean slate and brainstorming some ideas is helpful.
  • If you want to plan ahead for your vacation, you should make notes of the places you want to visit.
  • While watching the documentary, I made notes on interesting facts.
  • I’m sorry, I can’t talk right now. I have to make notes for my presentation. I will call back later when I’m done.
  • To prepare for the presentation, he made notes on index cards.
  • The detective asked me to give an account of what I saw at the crime scene. I had to make notes of every detail I could remember.

Examples of "Make Notes" in Pop Culture

The practice of making notes is often depicted in movies, TV shows, and books, particularly in settings like schools, offices, or during investigations.

Examples include:

  • In the TV show “How to Write Podcast Show Notes [5 Best Templates 2024]” on, they discuss the importance of making notes for podcast shows.
  • On the TV show "Dark," a Reddit user mentioned they made notes only once for a series when they rewatched the first season to keep track of the complex storyline.
  • In the article “Do You ‘Take Note’ or ‘Make Note’?” on VOA Learning English, they discuss the difference between the phrases “take note” and “make note.”

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Make Notes"

Alternative phrases with similar meanings:

  • Jot down
  • Take notes
  • Record
  • Write down
  • Document
  • Annotation
  • Scribble
  • Summarize
  • Outline
  • Transcribe

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Make Notes":

  • What does "make notes" mean?

"Make notes" means to write down information, thoughts, or observations, usually in a brief and informal manner.

  • Why do people make notes?

People make notes to aid memory, clarify thoughts, and record information for future reference.

  • Is making notes beneficial for learning?

Yes, making notes is a proven method to help with understanding, organizing, and retaining information.

  • Can making notes be done digitally?

Absolutely, notes can be made using digital tools such as laptops, tablets, or smartphones.

  • Is it better to make notes by hand or digitally?

This depends on individual preference and the context in which notes are being made.

  • How can I make effective notes?

Effective notes are usually concise, well-organized, and focus on key information or ideas.

  • Do professionals make notes?

Yes, professionals across various fields make notes for planning, record-keeping, and reference.

  • Are there different methods of making notes?

Yes, there are various methods like the Cornell method, mind mapping, or bullet journaling.

  • Can making notes help in your personal life?

Yes, making notes can help in personal organization, such as planning events or tracking habits.

  • Is "make notes" a formal phrase?

The phrase can be used in both formal and informal contexts.

Final Thoughts About "Make Notes"

"Make notes" is a common and versatile phrase that plays a crucial role in learning, organization, and record-keeping. It is a skill useful in various contexts, from academic to professional to personal. The method of making notes can be adapted to suit individual needs and preferences, making it a universally valuable tool.

To recap:

  • It involves writing down important information or ideas.
  • It is useful in various contexts and can be adapted to individual needs.
  • It helps in retaining and organizing information.
  • It can be done both manually and digitally.

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