The Cornell note taking system is a systematic way of formating and organizing your notes, the system was initiated by an education professor at Cornell university in the late 50s.
There’s a link to an article by the Cornell University describing this system at the bottom of this page.
How does it work?
Start out by dividing your paper into two columns (click on the image to enlarge). In area “A” (see picture) you fill in your notes as the teacher is speaking or while you´re reading your textbook.
When the lecture is finished you fill in your own questions concerning the notes. Comments or keywords are placed in area “B”.
You can then chose to cover section ‘A’ and ask yourself questions from the left column, this should be done regularly. Finally in section ‘C’ you write a small summary of the notes.
During the lecture, write in paragraphs, leaving a line between each new line of thought. Having your own shorthand mode might be a good idea. Try and stick with the general ideas rather than illustrative ones. And also try to write as legibly as you possibly can.