What are Cornell Notes?

The Cornell note-taking system contains two essential features: headings and text. Although the term was originally conceived as part of an efficient method of studying, it is now also used to describe a specific document layout. Documents in this format contain a 2.5-inch wide column for headings, and a 6-inch wide column for the text. Headings in the first column must be aligned with the corresponding text, and are used to index and summarize the contents of the text.

Cornell note-taking is an excellent method, and in fact some institutions feel that it is excellent enough to be mandatory. If you face this requirement, know that you are not alone. It's possible, but awkward, to create Cornell notes using a word processor. Notalon was born from both the author's distaste with mandatory Cornell notes and his frustration with word processors.