Colour Me Crazy!

Colour has always been central in my revision. In any method of revision I use, there is colour. In fact, the amount of colour I use surprises people, because in class I am quite conservative with my stationary: black ink, lined paper and plain notebooks. However, for me, colour makes revision a bit more interesting. The simple changing colour between paragraphs/sections gives you a mini-break. Here are my 7 main tips for revising IN COLOUR:

Treat Yourself

Investing in a set of nice pens can make a difference in revision. I love ordering new pens from Amazon and it gives me the motivation to begin revising, because I want to try out the new pens. It seems weird, but having nice stationary really can make revising just the tiniest bit better.

Big, Bright and Beautiful

I have found that using a lot of colour is best. Use a variety of colours and write in paragraphs of colour. This may go against everything you were told to do in school, but it will mean you associate the colour with the information. At least, this worked for me, because I could almost always remember the colour I had written the information in. This meant the information didn’t all blur into one.

Keep the Colour and Carry On

While it is important to change colours, you should not write every word or even every sentence in a new colour. Otherwise you will never focus on what you are revising but instead on writing one thing and then stopping to switch pens, meaning there will be no flow. Sometimes I will write for pages in the same colour, if it is about the same specification point. Just use one colour until you have ended that aspect.


Create an order for your pens. This stops you from um-ing and ah-ing over which colour to use next and also means that when you go through your work everything is neat and organized. The order could be the one the pens come in, or you could rearrange it. Just stick to the order you decide on.

(Side note: This tip is mainly for notes. If you are doing a mind-map or flashcards, the order is not as important because you may want a certain colour to go with a certain topic.)

Highlight Happily

I love highlighters. Highlighters allow you to read blocks of mundane information and pick out key parts and keep you going a little bit longer. However, don’t highlight coloured handwritten notes or it may make it difficult to read (if you want to go through it use a pencil to underline). Highlight books or articles you’ve printed before you copy the information to notes – it will then make it easier to search through everything when you’re copying down the information.

Fade Away Pale

Pale colours are not great for revision. The yellows, baby blues and powder pinks may look pretty, but when you go back to review everything, it is going to make the revision even harder. Also, if someone is quizzing you, they may find it difficult to read the paler colours. Unless you are only writing a quick note or heading, I would  put the pale colours aside.

Back to Black

While colour is great, a standard black pen will still be your best friend. For making a key word stand out, writing the title/specification for the area of notes, for chart headings, underlining, numbering, outlining etc. etc. black saves the day. It stands out against the others and makes it clear that you are beginning a new section.

What are your thoughts on revising in colour? What is your favourite brand of pens? Let me know in the comments.


2 thoughts on “Colour Me Crazy!

  1. Cool post! I too love using colour for my revision. Highlighting is definitely my favourite tool – especially to tackle the increased number of readings I now have with my university courses. I tend to write my notes in black pen and highlight afterwards, but I reckon I might give writing in coloured blocks a go 🙂


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