When I was in high school, I picked up some stenography (shorthand) techniques: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shorthand My grandmother was pretty adept at the Gregg method of shorthand, and she taught me some of it. It was a pretty common thing for secretaries and journalists to know 20 or 30 years ago. It allowed them to take dictation or create transcripts quickly and efficiently. It was a fairly complex system, but sometimes helpful for note taking in my classes. I am curious if people still use these systems - or is it a lost art? I don't know anyone who even remembers it. Also, do you use your own invented shorthand systems for taking notes in lectures?