11 Best Notetaking Template Packs for College Students

11 Best Notetaking Template Packs for College Students

Taking excellent notes isn’t just about listening to the lecture and jotting down important points.

Keeping your notes organized and easy to study can help you quickly make sense of new ideas. This can be critical leading up to a quiz or final exam.

An effective notetaking template can help you improve your study skills and perfect your notetaking techniques. Templates also create uniformity within your notes, so navigation is easier, and everything stays organized.

Below, we’ve listed eleven of the best notetaking template packs and layouts that we could find, along with instructions on how to use them in most notetaking apps.

Let’s jump right in.


Before you start:  Check your app for hidden templates

Before you start investigating the notetaking templates below, be sure to check the template settings within the digital app that you use to take notes.

All of the templates and layouts listed below are delivered as digital PDFs. Many of these design packs offer features that may already be available within your favorite notetaking app, so be sure to check before you purchase them.

Notability, GoodNotes, and Noteshelf — three of our favorite apps for high school and college students — all feature options to create a wide variety of paper templates, including squared, dotted, and lined paper. GoodNotes offers a Cornell Notes template, as well as columned paper. Noteshelf and Notability both feature an in-app store/gallery where you can download new paper packs completely free.

There are some limitations to what you can do within each app. That’s where the notetaking templates come in.

Import the PDFs into your notetaking app and use them to keep your lecture notes neat and organized. No matter what notetaking method you use, you can find a template that will help you succeed.

#caption#Image: Phenixprintable

#alt#Image of the different layouts available in the Cornell Note Template Pack.

01. Cornell Note Templates

  • Link: Etsy.
  • Price: $1.49.
  • Highlights: Features several page types arranged in a Cornell Notes format, including lined, dotted, and blank notes sections.

Originally, the Cornell notetaking system was invented by Walter Pauk, an education professor at Cornell University, who also authored the book How to Study In College. The goal behind the Cornell Notes system is to help students condense and make sense of important details by laying out the notes page in a very specific way.

We love this template selection because it stays true to the Cornell Method of notetaking while still providing a high level of customization.

This set of notetaking templates includes a total of 48 different pages spread across two layouts. The pack includes both one- and two-page layouts, along with lined, grid, and dotted variations in the notetaking area.

You’ll also find layouts with and without headings. This is particularly useful for students who want to learn this notetaking strategy but who may find the headers tedious after mastering the format.

The Cornell Notes pack goes above and beyond what you can find inside the default app layouts by adding lined and dotted options to a specific section of the page and by providing ready-made, multi-page layouts.

Why use it

The Cornell Method is one of the most popular notetaking methods because it requires you to think critically about the content to figure out the key ideas and summarize the information. This template pack allows you to use whatever variation (lined, dotted, grid, etc.) that you prefer while still organizing your notes in the Cornell format.

#caption#Image: EmmaStudies

#alt#Image of three examples of the templates available in the Student Notetaking Template Pack.

02. Student Notetaking Template Pack

  • Link: Etsy.
  • Price: $6.29.
  • Highlights: Over 50+ different variations of notetaking templates, including lined, dotted, grid, Cornell, and lecture layouts.

This pack of student-friendly, printable PDFs comes equipped with a variety of templates that you can use for lectures, study notes, and more.

Inside, you’ll find lined papers in both single- and two-column formats, as well as grid and dotted papers with various spacing options. The pack also features a collection of Cornell papers with various lined and grid options.

Our favorite takeaway from this pack is the lecture papers. These papers provide the maximum amount of space for notetakers while still constraining notes to a single page. The lecture papers feature a header bar so that notes are easy to file and organize, and they come in squared, lined, gridded, and blank options.

If you’re a doodler or a visual learner, and you’re planning to use an illustrative method like boxing, charting, or bullet points to take notes, the papers in this pack can help you achieve your goals and keep your notes organized at the same time.

Why use it

No matter what method or notetaking style you prefer, there’s a template in this pack that’ll work. Prefer more basic notes? Use the lecture papers. Like using the Cornell method? There’s a template for that. Need space to draw tables, mind maps, or any other visual? You can choose between dotted, grid, or pages that are half blank.

#caption#Image: Creative Jam

#alt#Image of the four different mind map layouts available in the Mind Map Printable Templates.

03. Mind Map Printable Templates

  • Link: Templatables.
  • Price: $5.00.
  • Highlights: Includes four different layouts for creating mind maps in both landscape and portrait mode.

Creating mind maps is another popular notetaking method, and it’s been around for centuries. Like Cornell Notes, this technique is used to organize and sort information.

Mind maps help students connect ideas and break concepts down into their component parts. For those who learn better with visuals, mind maps are a great way to distill knowledge into a visual summary that’s easier to process and memorize.

This notetaking template pack includes four different mind map layouts, each one with a different level of detail, so you can take down general concepts or go more in depth based on your needs. Use the blank boxes for simple concepts where just a few words or drawings are enough to convey the ideas, or switch to one of the layouts with lined space for jotting down longer text.

The best part is that these templates don’t have to be used just for taking notes. Planning out a research paper, speech, or another project? You can use these templates to map out the key points and put together the best strategy to help you succeed.

Why use it

If you’re a visual person and you prefer a simple and effective note system, mind maps are a great choice. What we really like about this set of templates is their versatility. With both basic and detailed layouts to choose from, you can take notes, plan out projects, brainstorm, and much more.

#caption#Image: WriteItDownBooks

#alt#Image of two of the colors available in the Brainstorming Project Papers.

04. Brainstorming Project Papers

  • Link: Etsy.
  • Price: $1.99.
  • Highlights: Features one layout divided into sections to organize different types of information. Available in 15 colors to visually separate topics.

While this paper pack isn’t for traditional study notes, it’s a great notetaking template to have in your toolkit. This pack is all about helping you brainstorm for your next big project.

For students who need a quick way to consolidate project notes, checklists, and to-dos, this kind of template can be a lifesaver. The page is divided into five distinct sections:

  • Header.
  • Lined Notes.
  • Checklist.
  • Dotted Notes.
  • Empty Box.

How you use the template is up to you. You might want to sketch an image in the empty box or import a photo for inspiration. Your checklist could be to-dos or useful hacks and ideas to expedite the project.

This template comes with a ton of flexibility, and that’s why we love it. Rather than defining the use case for each space, those choices are left up to the user.

Why use it

Everyone’s notetaking style is a little different, and what works for one person may not work for you. That’s why these notetaking templates are so great. They have a little bit of everything, all on one sheet, so you can find all your ideas in one place. You can jot down important concepts, draw diagrams, create project checklists, and more.

#caption#Image: Amethyst & Garnet

#alt#Image of the paper templates in multiple pastel colors available in the Soft Pastel Theme Digital Note Paper.

05. Soft Pastel Theme Digital Note Paper

  • Link: Etsy - Portrait or Landscape.
  • Price: $7.00.
  • Highlights: Includes 50 templates with options for 15 different colors and 4 different textures. Also includes digital stickers.

Notetaking doesn’t have to be boring. This set of notetaking templates allows you to customize and personalize your notes. It includes fun pastel color backgrounds (other color options available) and different textures to give your notes a unique look.

With over 50 template layouts, you can jot down your notes in whatever style or method works best for you. This is great because different classes may require different kinds of notes.

For example, if you’re solving a bunch of math equations, you may want blank, dotted, or grid paper, while English classes may require lined or Cornell templates. Other classes may need a little of both, which is where the split-page templates come in handy.

This set even comes with tons of digital stickers to tag certain areas of your notes or liven them up a bit. You can really get creative and make your notes stand out, which may even help you better retain the information.

Why use it

Here at Paperlike, we love options, and this template set is chock-full of them. Whether it’s the layout, background color, paper texture, or the ability to add stickers, you can customize and personalize your notes to your heart’s content.

#caption#Image: AHNsDesign

#alt#Image of the different colors and layouts available in the Digital Notetaking Paper Templates.

06. Digital Notetaking Paper Templates

  • Link: Etsy.
  • Price: $7.50.
  • Highlights: Features 160 template options based on the most popular layouts.

If you’re looking for the be-all and end-all of paper templates, this pack may be for you. Equipped with 160 templates, you’ll find almost every kind of notetaking layout available in a variety of color combinations and layouts.

Realistically, this pack contains five or six primary page layouts that are formatted in a variety of styles and colors. For example, a common format in this set is a two-column page with a line down the middle. In one version, both columns will be empty/blank. In another, one side is lined and another is blank. In the next, one column uses a grid pattern while the other side remains blank.

While these small changes to layout and design may seem tedious, they provide a huge amount of variety and allow you to customize your digital notebooks to maximum effect.

On top of the basic layouts, the pages in this pack also come in a variety of light and dark colors. You’ll simply select the template that makes sense for you and import that file to the notetaking app of your choice. Depending on how you’ve set up your working environment, lighter or darker colors may make more sense. With 160 different options to choose from, you’ll have no problem finding a perfect fit for your workspace.

Why use it

If you’re the type of notetaker who prefers something simple and basic for a layout, but you’re a little pickier on the exact setup, this set of templates might be the best choice. Instead of coming up with new and unique templates, this one sticks to the most popular designs. The author has tweaked them just enough to give you some different options and the varying colors are a fun way to add some life to your notes without having to change up your style.

#caption#Image: MindStrongBlogShop

#alt#Image of the ten different layouts available in the Just the Notes Bundle.

07. Just the Notes Bundle

  • Link: Etsy.
  • Price: $2.00.
  • Highlights: Separate template styles based on what kind of notetaking you’re doing, with color options to designate different classes or subjects.

Different types of notetaking require different kinds of templates, and that’s what this bundle takes into account. It has dedicated templates to use based on what you’re doing.

Included in this set, you’ll get:

  • Lecture notes.
  • Class notes.
  • Reading notes.
  • Small & big graph notes.
  • Dotted notes.

The lecture notes are basically lined sheets of paper to help you capture as much information as you can, while the class notes are in the Cornell format for briefly capturing key concepts and ideas.

Each layout comes in a variety of colors, which allows you to easily and visibly separate each of your classes. When you need to find your notes for one subject, you’ll only have to search through one color to find what you’re looking for.

Why use it

Having different templates for designated types of notetaking and studying can help you keep everything neat and organized. While you can probably use generic templates and label them depending on what you’re doing, it’s nice to have them already set up and ready to go. Plus, being able to designate colors for classes makes it easier to sort your notes later.

#caption#Image: PuffinPagesCo

#alt#Image of the Meeting Notes Template.

08. Meeting Notes Templates

  • Link: Etsy.
  • Price: $3.79.
  • Highlights: Includes three different layouts to organize and track your meeting notes.

Have you ever been part of a group project for your class? Group projects are never a student favorite, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be prepared.

This collection of meeting note templates gives you everything you need to set an agenda, take notes, and create an action plan that makes sense for your group.

Whether you’re leading the meeting or finalizing assignments, this template can help you streamline your meaning and keep a running record of project progress. Especially if your project group contains a slacker or a freeloader, taking careful notes can help you protect your grade from any lackluster performance by your peers.

While there are multiple templates to choose from, we’re big fans of the standard format because of the action plan and agenda columns. Be sure to check out the other layouts and see what works best for you.

Why use it

It’s easy to get caught up in a brainstorming session with your group. So many ideas are being bandied about that you might forget what the group actually settled on or who’s supposed to do what.

That’s where meeting notes come in. This set of templates can help you keep track of task lists and project progress, and it’s something that the whole group can reference if there are any questions later.


#caption#Image: LiamArmasDesignique

#alt#Image of the different versions and colors available as templates in the Lecture Notes pack.

09. Lecture Notes

  • Link: Etsy.
  • Price: $3.20.
  • Highlights: Features four versions of templates specifically designed for taking notes during a lecture.

While it’s likely you might have some reading assignments and other schoolwork, your main source of notetaking will come from your lectures. This template pack includes four different layouts that are designed to help you get the most out of the content you’ll learn during lectures.

There are fully lined pages that act the same as a regular notebook if you prefer to work “old school.” You can also choose lined pages in a format that’s similar to the Cornell method.

If you prefer blank space to write or draw, you can choose from two layouts. The first is a Cornell setup, and the second adds blocks to separate and organize your information.

Like some of the previous options, you can also choose from different color highlights to differentiate between classes or topics for better organization.

Why use it

Simple and basic, these templates will give you exactly what you need to take your best notes during a lecture. If you’re looking for just a little bit more than the built-in templates in your notetaking app without breaking the bank, this set should do the trick.

#caption#Image: Castell Studio

#alt#Image of the three different layouts available in the Figure Notetaking Pages.

10. Figure Notetaking Pages

  • Link: Etsy.
  • Price: $2.00.
  • Highlights: Features three unique templates meant to give you the space and format that makes the most sense for diagrams, math equations, and other visual notetaking styles.

While the Cornell notetaking system and other notetaking strategies are very rigid in their layouts, your personal style may be more flexible. If you use unconventional formats to boost your thinking skills, the page templates in this section may be just the thing.

Unlike most of the other layouts featured in this list, these notetaking templates are formatted around the idea of boxes. This isn’t a perfect match to the traditional boxing method of notetaking, but it’s close. Even at a glance, it’s easy to see how you could use these layouts to learn new words or enhance your reviewing and reading strategies.

If you’re more of a visual learner, the dot grid may make more sense than the lined paper. Either way, this collection of printables makes it easy to create graphs, charts, or other graphic organizers during the notetaking process.

Why use it

There are many different ways to take notes, and visual learners tend to prefer templates that allow them the freedom to use diagrams, drawings, graphs, and more within their notes. This set of templates is broken out into two sides, with blank boxes on one and your choice of lined, graphed, or dotted boxes on the other, so you can get exactly what you need.

#caption#Image: Luna Planner Co

#alt#Image of many different template variations available in the 60 Digital Notetaking Templates pack.

11. 60 Digital Notetaking Templates

  • Link: Etsy.
  • Price: $5.00.
  • Highlights: Most comprehensive set of notetaking templates, with 60 different layouts.

Are you looking for elegantly designed, clean notetaking templates? You’ll definitely want to give these a look!

This pack of 60 has the widest selection of templates that we’ve seen so far and includes everything from traditional, lined sheets all the way to grids, dots, and beyond. There are even specialized lecture templates, box templates, and layouts for various graphic organizers.

The lines on each of these templates in this pack are soft and easy on the eyes, minimizing the distractions you’ll experience while using the template. The one drawback to this set is that it’s all in white. If you’re using Dark Mode, the lighter pages probably won’t work for you. Fortunately, the creator offers an inverted version for Dark Mode users, which you can find here.

Why use it

If you’re looking for versatility, this pack is for you. It’s got templates for just about everything, including things like bullet journaling, digital planning, doodling, and (of course) any style of notetaking. The neutral design makes it perfect for just about anyone, and you can always personalize and liven it up a bit with the use of different colored ink.

#caption#Image: Mix and Match Studio 

#alt#Image of a woman sitting on a bench with an iPad and Apple Pencil in her hands and a backpack next to her.

Bonus Templates

While we’ve been focused mostly on specific or general types of notetaking templates, there are plenty of other templates out there that could be immensely helpful to college students. Take a look at some of our favorites.

#caption#Image: MyDailyPlanners

#alt#Image of the Student Notebook Set.

Digital Notebooks Set

  • Link: MyDailyPlanners.
  • Price: $14.99.
  • Highlights: Includes six hyperlinked digital notebooks with notetaking templates, stickers, and covers.

If you love the traditional notetaking experience with different notebooks for different classes but you’re ready to start taking notes digitally, this set of digital notebooks could be the best solution.

You’ll get six notebooks with 500 pages that are divided into 20 categories using different colors. Each color/section has three pages that are all hyperlinked to the table of contents at the front of the notebook.

Each of the six notebooks has a different layout, so you can choose the one that suits your needs the best. Your options include:

  • Lined.
  • Cornell.
  • Graphed.
  • Dotted.
  • Blank.
  • Colored.

These notebooks are completely reusable, so you’ll never have to buy another notebook again! Also included in the set are 14 colorful cover options and stickers and labels to customize your notes.

Why use it

While you can use your preferred notetaking app’s navigation system to find different pages of your notes, having everything already set up and hyperlinked to a table of contents makes it easier than ever to get where you need to be quick. If you’re struggling to make the switch from traditional paper notebooks to digital notetaking, this set of notebooks is as close of an experience as you can get to paper and pen.

#caption#Image: SimpleStudentGuide

#alt#Image of the Assignment Tracker, Completion Tracker, and Calendar available in the Assignment Tracker Pack.

Assignment Tracker Pack

  • Link: Etsy.
  • Price: $3.47.
  • Highlights: Features seven templates to help you track and manage your schoolwork.

While you won’t be able to use this pack to track notes, we wanted to feature this because these sheets are excellent for high school and college students alike.

This variety pack comes with sheets that you can use to track all assignments and tasks from within your daily organizer or notetaking app. If you’re planning to use a notebook-based app like GoodNotes or Noteshelf, adding these sheets into your notebooks can help you manage your class time and stay on top of important dates and events.

Why use it

A student planner can be pretty useful if you struggle to manage all your assignments for different classes. This pack includes calendars, trackers, and a spreadsheet that basically take the place of a traditional planner. These worksheets make it easy to stay on top of your school year.

#caption#Image: LifeinPrintable

#alt#Image of the Assigned Reading Notes template on an iPad from The Ultimate Reading Tracker Bundle.

The Ultimate Reading Tracker Bundle 

  • Link: Etsy.
  • Price: $2.66.
  • Highlights: Includes four templates to take reading notes and track your reading assignments.

Taking notes from a textbook can be pretty challenging. You may find yourself copying down way more information than you actually need, making it hard to retain the key points of the assignment.

The templates in this set help you narrow your focus, with sections dedicated to key points, strengths and weaknesses of the argument, a summary of your thoughts about it, and more. You’ll also get a reading tracker so you can plan out how much you need to read each day/week to get everything done on time.

Why use it

This set is especially useful for students with a major that’s heavily focused on reading. Whether you’re reading works of literature or a textbook, these templates can help you focus your notes on getting down the important details that you’ll need to know for your class.

#caption#Image: FRGLMAMA

#alt#Image of the Review Notes template.

Review Notes

  • Link: Etsy.
  • Price: $3.79.
  • Highlights: One template in six colors designed to help you review your notes.

After you’ve finished taking your notes, you may find that you were a little too broad or took down more information than was absolutely necessary. This template solves that problem.

When you need to review your notes to study for a test, you can use this worksheet to pull out the main idea and map out the key details that support and illustrate this point. There’s a small section at the bottom where you can also add a quick summary of your notes, so you’ll better understand the concepts you’ve learned.

Why use it

If you have a tendency to take too many notes and you struggle to study the massive amount of information you’ve jotted down, condensing the information into a review or study guide can be a lifesaver. This template will help you do just that.

#caption#Image: Paperlike

#alt#Image of a lined sheet of paper with the word “FAQ” on it in white and an iPad and Apple Pencil lying on it.


How do I use these templates?

All of the templates we’ve covered are PDF files. Each product is ready-made, so there is no need to edit the document before putting it to good use.

If you’re planning to use them in a physical notebook, you’ll need to check if they’re printable (most are) and then print them out and punch holes in the page before adding them to your binder or notebook.

When using any notetaking template in a digital format, all you need to do is locate the file and import it directly to the notetaking app of your choice.

How do I import templates into my notetaking app?

Most notetaking apps allow you to do this by importing a file or image directly from the interface. Simply locate the file and use the import tool to bring it into the app.

We tested this on our three favorite apps: Notability, GoodNotes, and Noteshelf. GoodNotes and Noteshelf were a breeze to work with. When importing the PDF file, both apps understood that we intended to use the file as a background for the document. When we filled up the sheet and created a new page, the app duplicated a blank PDF, and we continued with no problem.

Unfortunately, Notability gave us some trouble. While there is a convoluted way to import templates in the app, it mostly comes down to importing the document, then duplicating that document over and over again each time you want to create a new note.

The problem is that Notability doesn’t seem to understand that the imported image or PDF is supposed to be the background of the document. If you add a new page to your note, Notability just adds a blank, white page.

Keep this in mind if you’re planning to use Notability as your primary workhorse for notes. There are a lot of things to love about that app, but it falls short here.

What about free templates?

While the notetaking templates we featured are well-designed, they come with a price tag.

If you’re looking for free templates, surfing the web with a quick Google search or Pinterest session will probably yield some useful results — but the templates we found weren’t very attractive.

If you’re looking for ready-made templates, our template selection may be the better (and faster) fit.

#caption#Image: Paperlike

#alt#Image of an iPad with a screen protector on it and an Apple Pencil and other accessories next to it.

Complete your notetaking setup with Paperlike

If you’re planning to use an iPad to take notes during the school semester, you’ll need to be quick and precise as you jot them down. Unfortunately, even the perfect template won’t be able to stop your stylus from sliding across the glass surface of your tablet while you write.

Paperlike was invented to solve this problem. Our screen protector gives the glassy surface of your iPad the texture and resistance of real paper. With Paperlike, you can write and draw as if you were using traditional tools while still taking advantage of everything your iPad has to offer.

Order your Paperlike today!

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