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June 02, 2023, 02:55:14 am

Author Topic: Note Taking Programs  (Read 1243 times)  Share 

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Note Taking Programs
« on: February 17, 2020, 04:20:39 pm »

I've been thinking about how I'm going to take notes for uni, and considering using a program such as microsoft word or one note on my laptop. In your experience, which one would be more effective?

Do you have a different preferred program for note-taking? Very open to suggestions.  :)
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Re: Note Taking Programs
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2020, 05:15:45 pm »
I prefer OneNote as I have a touchscreen laptop and found it nice that I could import a PDF and scribble on it if I needed or write notes alongside lecture notes.

OneNote also is pretty nifty as you can sync it across phone/other devices and made my note-taking and revising so much easier ^-^
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Re: Note Taking Programs
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2020, 05:58:29 pm »
As insanpi has said OneNote is very popular at university. Other note taking techniques I have seen have just been word documents, pdfs with slides and writing on the slides. Some people open PowerPoints and edit them directly so that with your own notes and the slides you really cant see a difference. Also some people use a notebook or print out the slides and write on them. There is also a program called notion (i think it is free with a student email) which allows you to create pages and easily format notes. It also has nice templates for things like todo lists, assesment grades, timetables. My problem with this is that you cant import powerpoint slides in (at least to my knowledge).


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Re: Note Taking Programs
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2020, 06:43:01 pm »
Seconding OneNote :) I've used it all through uni and really like it because it saves as you go. And you can back it up and stuff so you don't need to worry about losing your stuff if your laptop died or whatever.

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Re: Note Taking Programs
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2020, 08:00:38 pm »
I put the slides or notes onto OneNote and annotate them during lectures & workshops. I write key terms out next to the notes so I can use the search function to find things easily and use my stylus for most other comments. I used to handwrite on papwr but I found that annotating the existing notes was much more useful for me than scrambling to write down everything. I also find it easier to stay organised digitally than physically.   


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Re: Note Taking Programs
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2020, 08:25:51 pm »
I mainly used a mix of word and annotating readings/slides in pdf format, but it would depend on the subject. I had a couple of subjects where I only used a small A5/A6 notebook because of the way it was taught or the nature of the content (e.g. symbol heavy). OneNote was very popular amongst my friends if it wasn't word + annotating pdfs. Often it would be the ones with touchscreens/tablets and a stylus using OneNote.

Nearing the end of last year, I started using QOwnNotes and see myself using it for my honours year and beyond (alongside annotating pdfs). Free, open-source, highly customisable, and can run entirely isolated on a USB if required. It can use cloud/syncing tools, but I personally prefer vigilant manual backups (which is habit for me anyway). It's definitely not for everyone, though, since it's very markdown based. I did consider Notion which was mentioned above, but it's lack of a true offline/local mode was a bit of a turn off (it has too many features I'd probably never use too). Being able to mass apply tags to separate notes and then search across all of them for a specific tag is very useful for sorting through and grouping literature/ideas. I vaguely think OneNote can do this, but not exactly in the way I wanted it to work.

Past the programs - spend your first year experimenting with note taking methods if you need to. The nature of uni might make it so previous methods you've used in secondary may not be suitable (this was my case!).
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