Why I Take Digital Notes

I have an addiction to stationery. From washi tapes to cute notebooks, I collect everything.

With digital note-taking, it’s possible to have countless pens, highlighters and notebooks at your fingertips. Best of all, you would never run out of pages to write on.

But other than that, why take digital notes?

1. E-Textbooks.

Split screen with note-taking app Notability and Pearson’s eText app

The digital editions of textbooks cost less than a new traditional textbook and are simpler to search through for keywords.

For students whose classes use open-source textbooks, this gives you an effortless way to annotate the textbook. It’s a lot easier to carry one device instead of multiple textbooks.

2. It’s easy to add visuals to your notes.

Digital note-taking is much more flexible than using a traditional laptop because you can add sketches and annotations to notes.

Anything from your notes can be erased without leaving evidence. You can also add pictures and graphs from textbooks or lecture slides into notes.

If you prefer to draw, diagrams are easier to make with shape recognition tools, which are prevalent in note-taking apps. (Some apps also have handwriting recognition, which allows you to copy the text from your handwritten notes into documents.)

In a digital format, you can move, resize, copy & paste and change the colour of sections of your writing. While you don’t have to take study-worthy notes, anyone can benefit from these tools to make their notes look better, or at least improve their legibility.

A diagram made using shape recognition tools

3. Always have your notes with you.

What your notes could look like if you used OneDrive

Unlike traditional notes, digital notes are easily backed up to the cloud. With the cloud, your notes are easily accessible from most devices, and you can’t lose any more of your notes.

Also, unlike traditional notes, you don’t have to worry about wrinkling or tearing digital notes. If you like to review for midterms or tests with paper, digital notes are easy to print out.

I would say the best part about digital note-taking is that you can search through your notes using keywords and look back at notes from past classes. I like to back up my notes to iCloud, but OneDrive is also pretty good.

A little life hack: UVic students can get 1 TB of storage on OneDrive by using their UVic Microsoft Office 365 account.

While digital note-taking can’t replace everything, it definitely has its perks.

Let me know in the comments how you like to take notes.

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