Taking Notes: Things to Keep in Mind

Hey everyone! These kinds of posts seem to be the most popular and requested posts all in all, so let’s focus a little bit on the tips now :)

With the school year rapidly gaining speed, I think this is as good a time as any to review some tips on taking notes by hand, in class. It’s one thing to type on the computer, where the only option to do it quickly is with an outline method. When using a journal, however, we have more freedom about how and where to write things down, which note-taking system to use, etc. No matter what the preferred way is, there are some things I like to keep in mind when starting a new class.

Taking Notes- keep in mind

1. Figure Out Your Method.

~There are several ways of structuring your notes. Here are a couple to get some ideas, but a simple Google search can really expand on that.

2. Keep the Structure

~ Once you pick something you like and try it out for a couple of lectures, it’s important to maintain that structure. Otherwise notes will be disorganized and will be hard to focus on the actual info

3. Highlight and Comment Later

~We all like to highlight and use pretty pens, make the class notes look perfect from the very start. I found that for me personally, leaving the highlighting and marking of notes till the evening actually helps with studying and is a good reason to review those notes afterwards. Not only will simply rereading those notes help the new info settle better, but also you can take your time with the marking of the text.

4. Look Up What You Don’t Get

~If you missed something in the lecture or simply don’t understand what the professor is saying, don’t be afraid to raise your hand to clarify. Even if it seem like a silly, awkward thing to do at the moment, no question is stupid enough when studying. You’re learning stuff to gain knowledge, not to look good in front of people. So ask away. And if this problem comes up during a review, take the time to reread the section in the textbook or look it up on the internet!

Before our Classes Begin: A Checklist

A quick checklist to prepare for the upcoming semester.

Pens

1. Office supplies.

The most important step of all (probably not, but why can’t it be?). Go out and get yourself some cute stationery! Journals, pens, pencils, highlighters, extra paper, sticky notes, etc.

2. A planner.

IMG_8494
I don’t know about you, but a few weeks into any quarter I stop using my planner completely. I feel confident enough in my memory, despite the numerous times I’ve forgotten to turn in assignments. A new year is the best! time to go out and get a new planner. Some posts: Free printable weekly to-do templateplanners online, filofax love, chronodex planner, bullet journal.

3. Check the classes
Make sure to take a look at the class websites and read the syllabi (syllabuses? that sounds weird). Take a look at the textbooks and see if there are any assignments that need to be completed prior to the first day. See some reviews on ratemyprofessors.com, get an idea of what to expect from a class.

4. Have some note-taking options

Note Taking Methods
This is my favorite part of all. Lately I’ve been using my iPad to take notes. I must say I’m very pleased with how it turned out, although you definitely can’t do this for every class. There is no need to decide on a note-taking method right away – it would make sense to attend the first one or two classes to get the feel for the way it’s taught. However, once you do decide on a method, try to stick to it. There is nothing worse than having to figure out disorganized notes on the night before an exam.

Good luck to everyone in this coming quarter!

The stars in the spotlight this week:

Mostly Morgan
Nitty-Gritty English
By Hannah Joy
Keistuolis 

 

How to Change Your Handwriting

Next on my list of topics to cover is dealing with messy handwriting. It’s a common question among students, and I too understand the hardship. I’m no expert on the matter (although at one point I did relearn some cursive), so I decided to ask my best friend and calligraphy guru for some advice. Here I quote him:

“When it comes down to handwriting, unfortunately it’s all about effort. Your handwriting is definitely a large part of you and is a representation of you as an individual. As you progress through life your handwriting will evolve as you yourself evolve, but sometimes it’s just not up to par with what you expect. It takes lots of practice to change it, but it’s not impossible. It only takes a little dedication and the willingness to change. I once asked my friend how his cursive was so good. It was a very traditional cursive, not like half print half third grade cursive. It was like business cursive from the 1900s. And he told me that he taught himself. He was tired of his messy, illegible handwriting and decided to change it one day. So he started writing in cursive and kept at it until it was flawless.

19th century accounting log
19th Century Bank Book(Source)

(Source)

But the easiest way to start writing a new handwriting is like learning a new calligraphy script. You work one letter at a time. You master A, both upper and lower case, then move onto B and so on. Once you know each letter you write the alphabet all the way through in upper and lower case. Use a sketchbook to write it all out. Your practice sheets end up looking really cool once you’ve filled every space with a letter.

After this start integrating this new handwriting in everyday life. If you take notes a lot, use this new handwriting as a heading or to emphasize a word. Be creative and just start using it. Soon you’ll be able to write it without thinking and then it will become a habit. And by golly wouldn’t you know it, you’ve improved your handwriting.”

So there’s some wisdom for us all. To get us started with changing our penmanship, here are some resources and inspiration:

1. If you are learning cursive, print this out and stick it somewhere where you’ll always see it when writing. 

Printable Cursive Template
Printable Cursive Template

(Source)

2. Check out some examples of handwriting, pick one or two that you like and start practicing Read more

iPad Apps for Students

Typic

If you have made the decision to use a tablet or an iPad for school, congratulations! I have found it to be so helpful, both in terms of freeing up some space in my backpack as well as keeping everything organized and in one place. One frequent question I get from my Tumblr followers is what are the top apps you can use for school?

Here is a quick list of productivity, note-taking, document reading, to-do list and some fun apps that can be integrated into your school life.

1. To be Productive

  •  When studying, the Pomodoro Timer can help you organize your schedule. The Pomodoro Rule (aka 45-15 rule) allows you to work for 45 minutes and rest for 15. Studying in smaller chunks like these helps you keep your best focus and re-energize when the concentration goes down.
  • If you are not a fan of set schedules, but would like to keep a clean and organized to-do list for all your activities, I’d recommend the GoodTask app

2. To Be Organized

  • To those who enjoy keeping a calendar online, Sunrise Calendar is a beautiful app. Similar to iCal, it includes Google calendar, Exchange and iCloud support, and is available on laptops, iPhones and iPads. It is also offered on Android!
  • StudyCal is also a great option for students who like to keep their daily tasks, class schedules, assignments and even grades all in one place.

3. To Take Notes

  • I take notes using GoodNotes app (Here is a screenshot). It is very simple and easy to use, doesn’t lag, and has handwriting recognition in case you need to do a search of you notes. Also includes PDF annotations as well as allows you to take photos and insert them right into your notes.
  • Another option is Notability an app very similar to Goodnotes, except that it offers a voice recording device and allows you to listen to the recording and see how you wrote your notes during lecture. Super cool!
  • Evernote and OneNote are also great apps for taking notes in class, but mostly if you prefer to type them. Both are saved on a cloud and are accessible from any device!
  • For various short and random notes, the App Store offers Post-It app, which lets you create Pinterest-like boards of post it notes from your photos.

picstitch

4. To Study 

5. To Keep your Files

  • Microsoft Office: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneDrive, etc. These can be found in Bundles in the App store for free! Good to have just in case.
  • The app I use is Documents Free. It’s very simple and saves everything even if I’ve just opened it once. Helps with files like class syllabus that I randomly decide to check in the middle of the year.

6. Other Helpful Apps

Here is a screenshot of my iPad and the apps that I use:

IMG_0536

Android Apps for Notes

10.30.2014

This year I’ve found that taking notes digitally, that is using a stylus and an iPad, is quite helpful. So I’ve created a list of some Android apps that have similar functions as Goodnotes, Notability, etc. (this list is coming up next!)

Before the list, though, I just want to say a few words about using apps to take notes. Like to any method, there are advantages and disadvantages. For example, I constantly get distracted at my iPad. A message blinks, the lecture gets boring, or if I’m waiting for an important email- it’s too easy to switch screens…so there goes my quality listening time. On the other hand, the iPad has really saved my butt (or should I say my back?) this quarter, as my backpack would have probably weighted 15 tons if I had journals in there in addition to the textbooks.Roblox Free Unlimited Robux and Tix

1. Quill

This app is one of the better ones I’ve found, and it’s only $1.00 on Google Play. Looks like there is a variety of options for pens/pencils/colors/fonts, etc, there’s an option to connect a special digitizer pen and some options for PDF annotation.

2. Equil Note

Also looks like a great app, with very nice reviews! Free and supports the Equil Smartpen (this means you can write notes with a ballpoint pen on paper and it automatically transfers those notes into the app. Converts handwriting into editable text and recognizes 11 (!!) languages. By far, my favorite on the list.

3. Handrite Note Notepad Lite/Pro

A simpler version of the first two apps, Handrite Note Notepad allows you to simply write stuff down and see it appear on the main page. The images on google play show it being used on a phone, so hopefully it’s more spacious on the actual tablet.

4. Evernote

Definitely the best app for typing notes. Notes can be synchronized on any device (apple, windows, android) and are reachable from anywhere. I use this app mostly to take screenshots of stuff I like on the internet and then finding them in my phone when I’m at a craft store (thinking, “What should I buy today….?”)

5.  Notepad +

Looks like a great app and the closest one to resemble Goodnotes! Allows you to annotate PDF’s, take handwritten notes and even draw some fun pictures! This is the app I’d buy ($2.99, by the way).

6. INKredible- Handwriting Note

A very simplistic, neat app with a zoom in and palm rejection features, different pen options and a very comfortable interface. Love it!

7. OneNote

A Windows classic and the master of organized notes. Type, draw, hand write your notes and find them on any device. If you don’t  like any of the previous apps, go for this one and you won’t regret it!

 

I’d love to hear what apps you use to take notes! Comment below and help out your fellow students!

How to Remember Your Lecture

  1. Listen actively- think about what you’re hearing, connect new and old information and write things down in your own words
  2. Pay attention and ask questions: it helps if you understand what’s going on.
  3. Review your notes after class (in the evening)
  4. Study a little every weekend– it’s better than studying for 12 hours in 1 day.

Paper vs. iPad

image

Hey everyone!

I received many, many questions recently regarding taking notes on paper versus on a tablet. I will be talking about an iPad in this case, because it’s the one I’m most familiar with.

Taking notes on paper:

+ You’re able to write things down yourself, which should help remember things better
+ You can organize your notebook any way you like and use any note-taking technique you want
+ Journals aren’t very expensive!
– Too many notebooks add up to a heavy backpack.
– To annotate any other files, readings or powerpoints, you”’ have to print those out before class
– “Should I keep my 7th grade science journal in case I need it in the future??” Um, the most important question you’ll ask yourself during spring cleaning.

 

Taking notes on an iPad:

+ You can hand write (with a stylus) or type (attachable keyboard) your notes
+ There are many, many apps to take notes as well as keep you organized and stay on task.
+ All your work can be backed up on a cloud. Also, no more “should I keep this journal?”
+ All you’ll need is an iPad and a stylus/keyboard. No more heavy bags!
+ Expensive. $270- $500…

Watch Cyberbully (2015) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download