Do you feel like you are constantly forgetting things? Maybe your professor mentioned something important in class and as you were struggling to find your pen to write it down you forgot what was so important in the first place.
Don’t beat yourself up about it. You are not alone. The easiest tip is to write something down so that you won’t forget what it was later.
There are a lot of different ways that you could take notes. The tried and true pen and notebook, if you are out to lunch, you could use a napkin at the table. But with technology constantly improving, you may think that there is a better way to take notes than the hand cramping writing of the past… and you would be correct.
There are a lot of different note taking apps out there. Everything from basic plain-text apps, to apps that recognize your handwriting or your voice. Basically, no matter what it is that you are looking for, you can find, and at least five more like it.
So I took the liberty of trying out a lot of different apps and gave you my thoughts so that you don’t have to waste your time trying all of them out. Here are my top three apps to help with your note taking.
What it’s best for:
Taking notes, clipping webpages, and recording audio
No note taking list would be complete without Evernote. It is simple enough that you could use it for just jotting down notes, but is powerful enough for you to use it for everything digital.
While note taking, you can add text, images, audio, and even files. You then are able to take those notes and save them into different notebooks for easy access later.
If you like saving your handwritten notes then you will need to download the app Scannable which is created by Evernote. This allows you to scan your handwritten notes and send them right into Evernote.
However, where Evernote really excels is with it’s web clipping browser extensions. This will allow you to add anything you find on the web into a note for you to view later. It can also save just the text from the site, if you see an article that you like but don’t have the time to read it right now.
The app download is free and that will give you basic use of Evernote and up to 60MB uploads per month. The plus plan is $25/ year and will allow you to access to your notes offline, integrate your email, searching inside files, plus much more.
What it’s best for:
Organizing thoughts, to-do lists, and projects
Where Evernote feels like a complete desk for all of you digital needs, Microsoft OneNote is a paper notebook. OneNote puts more focus into the notebooks than the notes themselves. Where you can have things a bit more scattered in Evernote because of its search feature, OneNote will be best suited by keeping your notebook and section tabs well organized.
You are able to have multiple different formats (to-do list, images, notes, etc) in one note, making OneNote a little more flexible than Evernote. That flexibility makes OneNote a joy to use. You are able to keep written notes next to audio clips, mark up different images, and add to-do lists right in your notes so that you can keep yourself on track. Another benefit is that if you use Word or Excel already, the learning curve won’t be that steep as OneNote looks and operates similar.
Like Evernote, there is a free basic package. For $69/year you will get everything in the Office Suite which includes OneNote.
3. Google Keep
What it’s best for:
collecting images, drafting documents, and creating checklists
At first glance, you may think that Google Keep is nothing more than a sticky note app, don’t be fooled. Sure it has a minimalist design, but it is a full featured note taking app where you can jot down ideas, create checklists, and do much more.
At it’s core it is very similar to Evernote and OneNote but there is a reason for that, they are the best of the best. Because of the sticky note appearance, you will be able to preview what the note is without needed to open it up, which will save you time.
If you need to make a full note, you can link your notes to a Google Doc by using the “copy to Google Doc” feature. Another cool feature is the location reminders. Basically Google Keep will remind you of a note that you jotted down when you are in a certain area.
The most useful feature that I found was the audio transcription. You can record your thoughts in the Keep app and Google will transcribe it into text and record the audio. Gone are the days of transcribing a conversation!
This bad boy is FREE!
Now that you know how to organize your notes, you need to learn how to take effective ones. My Save My GPA course can help you out with that!