The main method for writing brief notes is to write only the key words that convey the necessary meaning that you need. These key words can often be abbreviated or symbolized. Dr. Walter Pauk, in How to Study in College, (pp. 137-8) suggests the following:
Use symbols, especially in science or math.
≠ = does not equal
f = frequency
< > = less than, greater than
↓ = decreases
Leave out periods in standard abbreviations.
ISU = Illinois State University
cf = confer
dept = department
Use only the first syllable of a word.
pol = politics
cap = capitalism
Use the entire first syllable and only the first letter of the second syllable.
soc = sociology
ind = individual
subj = subject
Eliminate final letters. Use just enough of the beginning of a word to form an easily recognizable unit.
assoc = associate info = information
biol = biological intro = introduction
Omit vowels from the middle of words. Retain only enough consonants to provide a recognizable skeleton of the word.
skltn = skeleton gvt = government
prblm = problem bkgd = background
With words that have more than one ending, include the final consonant.
demy = democracy
demt = democrat
Spell out short words. Time won’t be saved by shortening a word that is already short.
ex.: in, at, to, for, but
Leave out unimportant verbs.
ex: went, came, be
Leave out a, the, and other unimportant adjectives.
Use symbols for commonly recurring connective or transitional words.
& = and w/o = without
w/ = with vs = versus
etc. = etcetera → = causes or leads to