I'm not exactly a note taker, either. There were exceptions, where taking notes was basically the only way I'd have been able to pass the class, but for the most part I absorb most of the stuff I need just listening and watching. A lot of times I'll write stuff, and just hearing it and writing it are enough to get most of it into my memory, and glancing at it once or twice afterward reminds me of the rest of the discussion.
I'm more of a "doing" person when it comes to learning stuff. It took me a long time to realize this, since I've usually been able to just watch somebody do something or read about it and I'm able to hack something out. There are certain things, like coding and (linguistic) syntax, where that approach just doesn't work. If I'm not working through examples and creating novel ones of your own, I'll never get anywhere with those things. Similarly, I'd rather write a paper or do a take-home essay test than take an exam where I have to study a bunch of material beforehand. I get to prove that I can apply the material rather than just recall it at an opportune moment.
I used to use my computer in class a lot more. I also used to have a lot more trouble keeping up. I think these two things might be related. Now it basically stays in my bag unless it's specifically called for. I only take it so I have something to do between classes while I'm eating my cheesy durian crackers Taco Bell.
Edited by Argyris - 9/19/13 at 2:28pm