Notes became significantly more useful when I learned the two different aims of note-taking.
The secret techniques athletes use to win races and events also help when taking tests, or giving presentations.
The Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman was a genius: famous for being able to explain the most complex ideas simply. The Feynman Technique is a powerful method for learning. But he didn't invent it. You should use it anyway.
Umberto Eco's underground student classic How to Write a Thesis describes a useful index card system for organizing knowledge.
In 1977, Umberto Eco wrote a small handbook to help struggling students. How to Write a Thesis has been in print for over 40 years. Used and beloved by generations of students in Europe and beyond, it was only recently published in English. But it’s not just for academics. Anyone who researches or writes for others will find something useful here.