Many students take notes in order to boost the memory retention. Some like them as much visual as possible, which helps them recall what they read or heard. Keeping a pile of paper isn't practical, however, and it's often hard to find the information you need. Messy and inaccurate notes are more likely to confuse you rather than help you.
On the brighter note, there are many powerful gadgets and digital tools available to overcome these difficulties. Everyone seems to have a smartphone these days, but pens and papers haven't gone obsolete. A bulk of learners still uses them to tackle the academic challenges, and jot down their thoughts. What pays off the most is an effort to get the best of both worlds. If you digitize study notes you get this “best of both worlds” scenario.
1. Old-school scanning
Some people decide to type the notes on the keyboard, but this is quite time-consuming. A better alternative is to scan the notes in PDF and make the data searchable and transferable in a shorter amount of time. You can then access it from any device using file storage cloud-based platforms. Just bear in mind that you should pay attention to the speed of the scanner.
The good thing is that today we also have some lightning speed machines like Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600. This deskbound scanner is used by placing the items face-up on the scanning mat. After only three seconds, the content is transferred to the USB-connected computer. This is fast enough even for the most dedicated scribblers who won't have trouble composing rich digital notebooks.
2. Evernote application
This excellent online note-taking service allows students to use their smartphones' cameras to convert notes into digital format. It supports a plethora of platforms, including scanners that can be integrated with this application. The storage space is almost unlimited and notebooks can be shared among multiple users. A handwriting recognition engine can perform searches and find the exact part you need.
Also, those seeking to go digital all the way can utilize the Jot Script stylus that provides a comfortable feel of the real pen when writing on a glass display. It's a fine writing instrument which works with iOS devices and offers good control on the screen. With a free application, you can transfer the notes directly to Evernote. For many, though, this practice is not as smooth and fast as doing the old-fashioned note taking.
(Steve has a lot more reasons to use Evernote: HERE! … as well as a popular Evernote ebook that will explain this wonderful online tool in detail.)
3. Microsoft OneNote
This excellent program allows users to input text, images, media files and even drawings into digital notebook. It's available on Windows PC, Mac, Android and iOS mobile devices. Searching for every bit of information is effortless, and handwriting recognition is flawless. OneNote supports Freeform data, which means you can align text and other objects the way you please.
So, you can finally make sense of those chemistry notes for the HSC, or organize your math entries better. The latest version of the software also enables students to use Optical Character Recognition for searching specific words within images. It's always a good idea to backup data, and good news is that the support for Dropbox is added, apart from the Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage.
Digital Note Taking
Scribbling notes on the paper is still the cornerstone of every learning experience, and appropriate digital counterpart is yet to be found. However, capturing the handwritten notes in digital format can be of great help. It makes the learning process faster, more convenient and efficient. Furthermore, it's possible to connect with other students and share notes with just a few clicks.
You can do the good old scanning, or take advantage of the stunning software platforms. Find the one that fits your style of note-taking and enjoy the benefits of seamless data digitization, storing, and customizing. Modern technology has enabled us to learn like never before, and get to know the notes by heart.
Whether you use digital note taking or convert your offline note taking to the online world, using technology for study purposes is a wonderful tool to help you learn faster and organize your notes
About the Author
Isla Ann Wright is a tech-savvy psychology professor, who considers herself more of a student since she is constantly in the process of learning. Although she lives and works in Darwin, Isla spends every minute traveling and getting to know new people and new cultures. She combines her love of technology, teaching and traveling with her work.