Eps 3-Introducing the Metacog an amazing way to take notes and use them

Eps 3-Introducing the Metacog an amazing way to take notes and use them – Neurodiversity Moment with JoyGenea

Metacog – the best note-taking option for many neuro different people. Dr. Caroline Leaf

Until I read the book “Think Learn Succeed” by Dr. Caroline Leaf page 192 I had never heard of the note-taking system of Metacog. I started taking notes this way and taught many of my clients.  It uses so much more of the brain’s many memory-making features and harnesses the superpower of being more right-brained.


This is a short explanation.

  • You start with a blank sheet of paper
  • Print the topic in the middle
  • Think of the next part like drawing a sun.  From the center text, you draw a line to the upper right. On that line you print the first important note
  • From that line with printed text, you draw lines for the further details as needed on the subject.
  • Rotate the paper as you continue to take notes.
  • You can use colored pens, if you want
  • You don’t just have to draw straight lines; you can create drawings and curved lines.

At the end of the video, I show some of my examples and a couple of Dr. Leaf’s.

I recommend that you give it a try a couple of times.

I am currently studying for a coaching certification, and I use this for all of my notetaking.  I have seen an improvement in my test scores without accommodations and studying for the tests has become easier.



So one thing a lot of people don’t know is how learning differently looks differently when you’re learning. So, one of the great things that I think a lot of people with neurodiversity need to learn about is what’s called a metacog. And it’s a type of note taking that’s just amazing. So, I learned about it when I was reading this book by Carolyn Leaf. I highly recommend it. So, she talks about metacogs on page 192 if you’re looking at that.

So I have my own metacog journal I’ve made. Created that myself of course. So, first thing is you want a blank sheet of paper. So on that blank sheet of paper right in the center you’re gonna put the keywords that are the topic. So today we’re going to learn about metacogs m-e-t-c-o-g-s. We’ll put a circle around it. See? Metacogs. And then from that point aiming over towards the right. You’re gonna print and you’re gonna draw a line and then our topic today is about metacogs and how to build them. And you’re gonna write right on that line, and you’re gonna print and this is all about using your memory and it’s all about using that right side of your brain as your memory, because that is your strong memory when you’re neurolly diverse. So, notice I’ve got the line. I’ve got some words going but your line- it doesn’t have to be straight. It can wonder. Heck your line could take total curves as you’re going. It doesn’t matter it’s ok. Part of what makes this a really valuable note-taking process is how your brain’s gonna remember it. You also want to remember that there are subheadings, so the key thing that we’re talking about is metacogs, the next thing that we’re talking about is kind of the how-to of that. So, the important things was a blank sheet of paper, pencil, putting that key information in the middle, I often date them up in the corner and then the branches of your metacog. Think about it this way, the more your metacog is getting branches and so forth those are literally the same thing that’s happening in your brain. Your brain is creating those branches because it’s creating and existing with this metacog that you’re building. Don’t be afraid of color, don’t be afraid of using symbols, and you want to make sure as you remember things, as you review this, you can add to this. It’s a note taking process that is not linear and that winds up being really really helpful for a lot of people. So, an example of this- here’s a metacog that I’ve done that you can see. Also, these are a couple from Carolyn Leaf herself. Now notice you rotate the sheet of paper as you’re working on it. This information moves around. This is another great one that she has as an example in the book. So notice that it- the branches go out and she adds more words, she’s printing the whole time. This is a metacog and this can make a difference in your notetaking.

I highly recommend you give this a try more than once and see what you think. So, get out that blank sheet of paper and a nice pen and get going next time you’re having to take notes. So, thanks for joining me for another neurodiversity moment. I’m JoyGenea, international neurodiversity success life coach for dyslexic adults. Thank you.


Thanks for joining me on another neuro diversity education minute.

I’m JoyGenea, Success Life Coach for Adults with Dyslexia

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