1. Find your platform
So you’ve started typing your notes – but where are you typing them? The simple Notes app on an Apple computer or phone is great, but there are a lot of note-taking platforms with special features that could work for you. Everyone has different needs and desires when it comes to note-taking, so you might have to test out different platforms to find one that works best for your goals. Some of Class Tracker’s favorites include Evernote, Microsoft OneNote, Google Docs, and Simplenote. All of these platforms can also be downloaded on your phone for easy, on-the-go note-taking. Test one platform out by downloading it today, taking notes on it for a week, and then evaluating what you liked about it and what you didn’t like so much. You can then use this insight to inform your needs when you test another platform.
2. Make adjustments to suit your needs
Once you’ve found the note-taking platform for you, you’ll want to customize it to fit your needs. Every platform offers something a little different, but they all generally provide note-taking, organization, and search functions. Once you’ve got your platform, you can create folders to store your notes. You might create a folder for each of your classes, your job, each extracurricular, and even a folder for your own personal reminders. Once you begin to take notes, place each note in its appropriate folder, give it a clear and concise title, and format the note with headings, bullet points, numbers, and paragraphs. By doing this at the start of every note you take, you’ll keep your platform organized all year long. And when you start studying for finals, you can easily go back and find notes from particular classes or books.
3. Use the platform’s features
Your note-taking platform will have some special features. Be sure to use these to their full capacity. Evernote, for example, allows you to upload images, scanned documents, audio, and other files to your notes. If you’re someone who thrives on visuals and constantly references charts, graphs, or images when studying, you’ll definitely want to use Evernote’s support of a wide variety of notes. Simplenote, on the other hand, focuses more on plain-text notes that can be easily organized. If your notes primarily consist of words, then Simplenote might be up your alley. Be sure to make the most of its organization and search functions, which will help you find your notes easily with a quick search of one word or phrase.
You might not find the virtual note-taking platform of your dreams immediately, but that’s okay. Given that there are so many options available, take some time to find one that works for you. In the long-run, you’ll be happy that you invested time and energy into finding a tool that can support all of your note-taking needs throughout your academic career.