20 eye-catching ideas for your study notes

Study notes with Canva

Let’s be honest, not many people actually enjoy studying. Most of us can think of at least 20 things we’d rather do than bury our heads in textbooks and study notes. However, if you’re at school, college or university, study happens to be a necessary evil—if you want to pass your exams, that is!

However, there’s no reason you can’t make studying fun. Enter, the #studygram movement. The Instagram hashtag has gone viral, with more than 2 million students worldwide sharing their artfully created study notes. Making your study notes visually appealing and well organized helps you stay motivated and makes your study sessions a lot more enjoyable. Plus, visually representing information has been proven to help you remember facts and figures.

Canva’s free templates make it easy to create beautiful study notes that you’ll actually want to look at (and post on Instagram!) Read on for 20 eye-catching ideas for your study notes.

01. Create a presentation

Whether you print it out or access it on your computer or tablet, creating a powerpoint presentation for each subject is a great way to keep your notes organized. Just be sure to limit each slide to a minimal amount of text, so it’s not too overwhelming.

02. Evaluate your knowledge

Before you sit down for each study session, it’s a great idea to use a template like this one to evaluate what you already know about the subject—and what you still need to learn. Then at the end, you can jot down any new learnings.

03. Use mind maps

Mind mapping is a fantastic study technique to help you remember the relationship between key points—rather than just disjointed facts. You can use a template like this one and simply replace the text with your own points.

04. Structure your essays

Writing an essay? To ensure you don’t waffle on or get stuck while you’re writing, it’s an awesome idea to use a template like this one to map out the structure first.

05. Create flash cards

Flash cards are an extremely useful resource for evaluating how much you remember about a certain subject. You can use a template like this one and adapt it to record all your questions and answers, then give it to a friend or family member so they can test your knowledge.

06. Make infographics

Utilizing different elements like icons, facts and diagrams, infographics are a powerful study resource—as it’s far more digestible than long chunks of text.

07. Plan out your study sessions

Studying feels far less overwhelming when you break each task down into smaller, more manageable chunks. Using a template like this one can help you plan out exactly what you’re going to work on and when.

08. Use comparison charts

If you’re comparing the facts or features of two things, creating a comparison chart can be handy in helping you mentally visualise the differences. You can customize a template like this with your own information.

09. Guide your classroom note-taking

Cramming before an exam might be the norm, but believe it or not, your learning actually begins in the classroom! Using a note-taking template like this one will help you record important points in class that you can reference later.

10. Color code your notes

Color coding is not only an excellent way to keep your study notes organized, but it’s actually been proven to improve how well you visualise and remember information—as color stimulates the creative part of the brain. Plus, it makes them much more appealing to look at!

11. Use icons

Using icons in your study notes is a fun way to illustrate key points and help you retain more information, especially if you’re a visual learner. There are hundreds of free icons in Canva’s library you can use to jazz up your study notes.

12. Get creative with your timelines

Locations and dates can be some of the most difficult things to recall in a exam. Using a template like this to lay out your timelines in a creative and visually appealing way can help you remember more of those tricky figures.

13. Use a list format

When you’re mapping out the steps of a certain process, using a simple list format like this template can help you recall the points in the correct order.

14. Jazz up your math notes

Yep, math can be fun! By using a template like this one, you can test yourself on math problems in a more visually interesting way.

15. Make a bubble map

Using bubble maps in your study notes can be a simple and effective way to memorise facts about a certain subject.

16. Create pie charts

Using pie charts in your study notes is an awesome way to help you remember the proportions of a certain thing. They’re particularly useful for subjects that involve a lot of statistics like math, science, history or geography.

17. Do practice essays

If you’ve been given example topics for an essay, you can use a template like this one to practice yourself answering them under time constraints.

18. Create flowcharts

Flow charts are one of the best ways to map out the various stages of a high-level process and explain the relationship between the stages—and using a colorful template like this one makes it fun!

19. Use Venn diagrams

Venn diagrams are an excellent way to visually represent multiple items or concepts within a topic. This will help you to identify the similarities and differences.

20. Make it your own

One of the coolest things about the #studygram movement is how students put their own unique spin on their study notes. Everyone has different learning styles, so it’s important to create yours in a way that is going to keep you motivated and engaged. While Canva’s templates are a great place to start, you can also create your own study note designs from scratch, or print them out and personalize them with your own handwriting and illustrations.