I've done a few years of part time study previous to starting my degree this year, so I'm pretty down with the note taking. However I am the kind of person who starts the year using one method for making notes, and then decides that it isn't working and it needs to change... and I'll have to transfer all my notes into a new format. So this may well end up being a series of posts...
But in this post, I'm going to talk you through my current note taking method.
For the most part, my notes in class are written on the PowerPoint handouts we are given at the beginning of each session. Both my lecturers print these for us, but I know that not everybody has that luxury. So all my notes are written on the hand outs. This works well for me in class - I don't have to worry about writing everything down that's on the screen because it's already there and there's plenty of extra space around the slides that I can make notes of any discussions we've had or extra points raised.
I have one notebook for each module I'm studying this year. I personally prefer this to subject notebooks, or refill pads, just because then all my notes are contained in one place. For those of you screaming "But what if you forget to take the right notebook?" I don't actually write in these in lectures so it's not a big issue. But for the most part as they're pretty small I tend to keep them all in my uni bag anyway.
After our sessions (typically over the weekend) I sit and re-read through my notes and this is when I transfer them into my notebooks. This is when I begin to highlight and colour code. I definitely find that this second writing of my notes - in neat! with it all colour coded really helps cement it in my mind. I then use these notes to refer to in lectures, or when I'm writing assignments etc.
I know that this system won't work for everyone so I'm definitely going to follow this post up with another about how I take notes on my laptop, and then probably follow that up with a comparison! So if that interests you, keep your eyes peeled :)