I am looking for some advice on how to take notes effectively when the professor reads off their lecture notes or presents slides with marginal explanations. My preferred format is to have textual notes that I took myself, as I find that writing things down helps me remember and understand the material better. However, in these cases I struggle to keep up as I have to both write down stuff and follow the explanation, while the professor instantly has everything written down and only has to explain it. If this can be of any help, I am the first year of a PhD in mathematical economics, and I usually use a notetaking app and a tablet with a pen to take notes.
The two situations I encounter most often are:
- The professor has really good lecture notes and reads off them while lecturing, writing some stuff on the whiteboard, adding explanations but not changing anything major from the notes.
- The professor has really good slides and presents them and writes notes on them using an electronic whiteboard.
In the first situation, I find it challenging to decide what to write down and what to leave out since the professor is essentially reading from their lecture notes. Moreover, while the professor adds some explanations, they are usually marginal, and the bulk of the material is already in the notes. On the other hand, if I do not write down anything, I am afraid I might miss some crucial details or examples.
In the second situation, I find slides to be space-inefficient so I would prefer not to take notes on the slides. However, the professor can present complex mathematical formulae and derivations without writing them down, which makes it hard for me to follow and understand the material if I have to first copy the formulae and then write notes around them. Sometimes I screenshot the formula and paste the screenshot in my notes, which is not too uncomfortable to do on my tablet, but I still find it quite inefficient.
I would appreciate any advice on how to take effective notes in these situations. How can I avoid copying everything down (or not avoid it, but do so efficiently) and still capture the essential material?