Skip the notebooks and binders this semester! Since classes are held online, you can skip using notebooks and opt for digital note-taking instead.
Digital note-taking is faster and a lot easier to manage. Having your notes available digitally is useful because it is easily accessible anytime, anywhere, with any device. And keeping your digital notes organized is a significant factor that can help you keep up in class and lessen your load this semester.
These tips will help you manage your digital notes and keep them organized.
1. Create Your Template
The tools mentioned above allow their users to create their templates for note-taking. Make templates that compliment your learning style. This does not only help in organizing your notes but also in retaining information faster. If you are a visual learner, you can make one that will let you incorporate graphs, tables and integrate a color-coding system.
Customize your template, and do not be afraid to attach as many files necessary. Attach your syllabus, calendar, to-do lists, pictures, lecture clips, and even presentations. But some professors send their presentations formatted as a PDF that prevents you from writing side notes directly on it. You can convert the PDF to PPT so you can make changes and write notes on the presentation. This will allow you to write side notes easier and quicker. You can then attach the file to your digital notebook.
2. Choose a Note-Taking Tool
The first is finding a note-taking application that works best for you. There are multiple digital-note-taking apps available that you can choose from. You must find the one that you think suits you best and will work well for your notes. Notion, Google Docs, and Evernote are three of the most used digital note-taking tools by students.
3. Sort Notes into Folders or Notebooks
Creating a folder acts like your filing cabinet. Folders become helpful when you want to go back to your notes to reread, review, or edit them. You can make as much as you like as long as you are mindful of labeling them.
4. Specify Your Labelling
Use names and tags that will let you remember what the inserted file in the folder is. Make sure that the labels you put are easy to identify. Let’s say you have a notebook designated for your extra-curricular activities and school organizations, label the file and put the name as it is, like “Journalism Org. Minutes”.
5. Nest Folders Within Folders or Notebooks
Make folders within your main folders. You can have a digital notebook for this semester and create more notebooks within that for each of your subject courses. In doing this, every file for each subject will be in a corresponding folder. It makes managing your files simpler.
6. Create a Tagging System
Categorize your folders and notebooks. Having a tagging system helps in managing your digital notes in more ways than one. You can create tags based on the dates of your lectures, the content, the chapter, or which number of lessons you are now.
While folders provide a clutter-free visual structure, tags are great for classifying your topics and making your notes easier to find. The more notebooks you have, the more time it will take to find your notes. Tags help in these kinds of situations by identifying common themes across your notes.
Say you make practice tests when reviewing for your exams, and you have one for each of your course subjects. You can pull up all your notes from your folder that only has the “practice test” tag.
7. Make Shortcuts for Your Favorite Folders
Some digital note-taking apps allow you to make shortcuts for folders or let you mark them as favorites; use this to your advantage.
There will always be a notebook or a folder that you use more often than the others. It could be the one you use for your favorite subject or a folder you use to track your daily activities and to-do lists. Whatever it could be, you can make these folders easy to reach and quick to see by creating shortcuts.
8. Put Folders and Notebooks in an Order Convenient to You
Folders are most commonly alphabetically arranged. If this works for you, then great! You won’t have to rearrange your files anymore. But if you have documents that are of great importance and want to be on the top of the list, you can use a character like an exclamation point or start its label with AA.
9. Delete Your Initial Notes
Once you have transferred and arranged your initial notes from a lecture to your notebook, delete them. Files that are no longer needed and necessary are to be rid of. It does not only take up space and storage but also adds clutter.
Takeaway: Take Note, Hold It, and Revisit
Effectively managing your notes and keeping them organized gives you a helping hand in keeping up in class. Take notes, arrange and edit it the way you see fit. Hold the note and store it in a folder or notebook that you know can be easily located. And revisit your notes anytime, anywhere.