Taking thorough notes helps you keep attention during class, organize exam review,and make complicated material easier to understand.
It is a good idea to label all your notes with the date, class, topic, and page number. This simple trick will help you when reviewing notes. It may also help to leave a good size margin for going back and filling in additional thoughts/notes from your text. Leave space between topics, too. ABBREVIATE! Simplifying your writing will allow you to capture more of the content in a lecture. Just make sure you can read your own writing!
When taking notes from your textbook, be sure to highlight only the main ideas. After reading a chapter, go back and summarize each paragraph with one sentence. You may also want to make lists of important information. Use flash cards and create example test questions (do not forget to answer the question).