How to Revise: Top Tips & Trusty Tools

Ah, exam season. That magical time of year when the soft whispers of spring turning to summer tickle your nose, blossoming cherry trees tempt you with their beauty, and every student is sequestered; revising in a dimly lit room, desperately scribbling in a notebook and trying to cram their cranium with countless facts, figures, and formulae.

It’s a time when 'organised chaos' and 'controlled panic' become the standard state of affairs, and the phrase "I'll just wing it" is the national anthem of the procrastination nation. But fear not, before you can scream, “SAVE MY EXAMS”, we are here to help! 

From bitter experience we can honestly tell you that conquering the wild beast of revision lies in structure and good organisation. With these you can transform it from a dreaded slog through the Swamp of Despair to a productive, dare we say enjoyable, jaunt through the Garden of Academic Enlightenment!

Now, we know what you're thinking: Structure? Organisation? Don't they belong in the dusty old halls of Victorian England, along with top hats and horse-drawn carriages?  Well, we can assure you that these two concepts are as relevant to our modern world as avocados on toast and the ever-popular art of binge-watching.  

Picture this: an amateur juggler attempting to keep six flaming torches in the air whilst teetering on a unicycle across a tightrope. A daunting feat, isn't it?  Now imagine that same juggler equipped with a detailed plan, a sequenced order for throwing the torches, and a solid understanding of balance and timing. Suddenly, that death-defying stunt becomes a lot more manageable. Much like this juggling act, your revision can also benefit from a well-thought-out structure and a good dose of organisation.

In the realm of exam revision, intrepid students often find themselves besieged by textbooks, lecture notes, past papers, and the ever-enticing allure of the internet – a formidable foe in its own right. Conquering these obstacles requires not only courage, but also the cunning ability to devise a plan of attack. Enter structure and organisation, your trusty lieutenants in the battle for academic success and the Herculean effort to get revising! With their help, you can navigate the treacherous waters of information overload, cut through the tangled vines of unsorted notes, and emerge victorious in your quest for exam excellence. 

In this, the first of two exam focused blogs, we turn our attention to useful tools – the ones you can use to bring your plans for structure and organisation to life.

Studies demonstrate the effectiveness of handwritten notes, over stylus and screen, for better retention of information.  With this in mind, let’s dive into the world of cool stationery and find out how something as simple as a dotted journal can transform your revision process.  Because, whether you choose an a5 lined notebook, a b5 dotted journal or blank notebook – an unassuming notebook is your number one secret weapon to help you rev up revision effectively! 

  • Choose your weapon (notebook): First things first, pick your ideal notebook for school or college. Think about size.  If you like space to write and a big notebook, then B5 notebook size is ideal. It is slightly heavier than your average notebook, but you can fit more in.  

If you want something that’s easy to hold and carry around, you’d probably prefer an a5 notebook. 

Then you should consider the paper. The more thick and luxurious the paper, the less likely pen or paint will bleed through to the other side.  We always recommend a note book with luxurious 160gsm paper. 

Then there’s paper colour.  Do you prefer plain white paper or writing on black paper?  Maybe you like mixed coloured paper notebooks? 

Also consider whether you find writing notes on lined journals easier than working with a plain paper notebook or a dotted notebook?  

The Ink Pot offers a wide range of beautiful journals.  Each one of them features flat lay binding, so every page remains completely level.  

  • Designate subjects: Why not use a different notebook for each subject. Or, assign sections within a single ruled notebook or dot grid notebook to different topics. Beautiful notebooks are not only aesthetically pleasing but help you organise your thoughts, in one dedicated space, making revision a breeze.
  • Personalise it: Discover the magic of personalised stationery and boost motivation by making your notebook unique – and instantly recognisable at a glance! Our customisation process allows you to make your notebook cover your own.  This ensures you’ll never misplace vital revision notes, or pick up the wrong revision notebook in error.  
  • Plan your attack: Creating a well-organised and structured revision plan is like laying the foundation for a majestic castle – without it, you're likely to end up with a wonky, crumbling mess that even the most optimistic of estate agents would struggle to sell! A well-crafted study plan is the key to unlocking the door to the hallowed halls of revision success, guiding you through your subjects in a logical and methodical manner, and ensuring that no stone is left unturned in your pursuit of knowledge.  You’ll find many bullet journal ideas for great revision schedule layouts on Instagram or Pinterest, that will help you achieve a more structured approach to revision.
  • Summarise and simplify: When it comes to complex key points, formulas and facts, jot them down in a dedicated space in your note books. Then rewrite them in your own words for better clarity and understanding.
  • Visualise: Beautiful journals, especially ones with paper that is 160gsm – so pens won’t bleed through - are perfect for creating colourful mind maps, charts, and diagrams. Get creative and turn complex ideas into fun, visual elements.
  • Test yourself: Use a section in your lined notebook for writing mock questions or practice quizzes. Answer them later in your notebook to test your progress.
  • Reflect and review: Journaling ideas don't have to be limited to notes. You can also reflect on your progress, set new goals and celebrate all your achievements in your luxury notebooks. It will make interesting reading, after the exams are over!
  • Take breaks: Studies show that taking breaks during revision is essential for retaining information. Schedule these in to your revision timetable and use your notebook to scribble or doodle during breaks, to relax and recharge.
  • Stay inspired: Fill your beautiful notebooks with motivational quotes, affirmations or success stories. Turn to these pages whenever you need a boost.

We’re not the only ones who rave about the benefits of notebooks for inspiring brilliant revision.  So, if you want to ace your exams with confidence, grab some notebooks, unleash your creativity and get journaling.

However, it’s not just a good notebook that will help you unleash your inner Einstein.  With the right writing tools and other stationery supplies you can turn your notebooks into something magical, and colourful, to enhance your learning experience.

We say, unleash your inner Picasso and elevate your revision further with a fabulous pen and pencil parade, whilst wallowing in the wonder of washi tape (UK) at the same time. 

With this in mind, why not embark on an enthralling journey through the world of pens, pencils and washi tape designs. These magical tools will not only add a splash of colour to your revision notes but also enhance your learning experience. So, let's dive in and explore how these writing instruments can revolutionise your exam preparation!

  • Highlight your way to success: Let mildliner highlighters and neon pens take centre stage in your revision game. These vibrant beauties can be used to emphasise key points, making them stand out and easier to recall. Zebra mildliner pens are perfect for adding a subtle yet effective touch to your notes.
  • Fine-tune with precision: Micron pens offer ultimate precision for detailed note-taking, mind maps or charts. These black pens glide smoothly on paper, creating crisp, clean lines. Keep a white gel pen on hand if you make a mistake. You can't go wrong with these trusty companions.
  • Add some sparkle: Metallic gel pens and gelly roll pens can make even the most mundane topics shine. Use these glittering stars to emphasise crucial concepts or add a touch of glamour to your revision.
  • Paint a world of creativity: Posca paint pens and Tombow brush pens are perfect for adding an artistic flair to your revision notes. Blend colours, create gradients and explore your creativity while enhancing your learning.
  • Keep it together: paper clips are perfect for organising your notes and keeping them tidy. You can use them to section specific pages in your notebooks, so you can immediately turn to the most important sections.
  • Section it out: Use mt washi tape to create sections or tabs in your notebook. Assign different colours or patterns to subjects or topics, making it easy to locate specific information when revising.
  • Create a dazzling layout: Decorative tape can be used to design eye-catching page layouts, borders or headers that organise and structure your notes effectively.
  • Stick to your plan: Use washi tape to secure revision plans, calendars or checklists to your notebook or wall. These fun adhesives are easily removable and repositionable, making them perfect for versatile planning.

What we’re trying to say is, take heart and fear not the looming shadow of exam season.  With structure and organisation as your trusty steeds, you can ride forth into the fray, armed with the knowledge that you have done all in your power to prepare for the trials ahead. And as you face the ink-stained gauntlet of examination papers, may you remember the immortal words of Benjamin Franklin: "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." Or, to put it another way, "Keep calm, carry on, and for goodness' sake, get organised!"