(1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

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Which PC software is best for note-taking?

Evernote
5
9%
Google Keep
0
No votes
MS OneNote
36
67%
MS Word
12
22%
Springpad
0
No votes
Other (list)
1
2%
 
Total votes: 54

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Keithustus
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(1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby Keithustus » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:28 pm

I was last in an academic classroom in the spring of 2003. Some people were starting to bring laptops into class then, but I like most everyone else did everything on paper. In the last few months, I've been to a couple admitted-students events and also attended Law Preview. Apparently taking notes digitally now is all the rage. I've got to learn how to do that well, and, this is my question, what the best tools are for doing so? I've never used any dedicated note-taking software. Fortunately, I've got almost a month to become familiar with whatever software I choose to try.

I should point out that I have been taking extensive paper notes for work for ten years, so I am accustomed to the flexibility of using arrows, columns, sketches, etc. where ever I'd like. I don't know how challenging it would be for me to restrain some of that flexibility by transitioning to software. Lastly, I know how note-taking in law school is different from note-taking as an undergraduate, so please do not feel obligated to caution me against attempting to be a stenographer.

MS Word: I know it well. It's not exactly great at notes, especially as it wants everything in sentences and paragraphs, other than adding images and graphs and charts and whatnot. Doing those additions is definitely not ideal in a classroom setting. Other admittees were using this but it looked as inelegant as you'd expect.

MS OneNote: apparently I should be using this? But I don't know how. Is it as easy to learn as Excel/Powerpoint or is it trying to learn Access?

Alternative suggestions? I've included some others I've never used in the poll options.

Oh, PC only, no Mac.

http://lifehacker.com/5837191/five-best-note-taking-applications

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rinkrat19
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:41 pm

OneNote. It's super easy in that you can open it and just start typing, but it has a lot of capabilities that are pretty cool.

Somewhere on TLS there's a guide to setting up OneNote and using it efficiently for law school.


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Keithustus
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby Keithustus » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:10 am

Wow, thanks. That is an excellent link.

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laxbrah420
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby laxbrah420 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:14 am

I have a mac so i didnt have onenote and just used evernote because I like the fact that it's sync'd/saved automatically. But come time to outline, it's a pain in the ass to copy shit over to Word. I have no idea if onenote is good enough for writing the outlines you'll bring into finals, but if not, just do your notes in word. The shit that's going on in those threads is cool in your super enthusiastic mind right now, but in reality, that's a lot of OCD going on for not much benefit throughout the semester, and a detriment when it comes to just buckle down and write the black letter. You'll notice right away that basically all 2Ls give you outlines in Word format

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kalvano
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby kalvano » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:36 am

OneNote has an "export to Word" link for every notebook.

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sublime
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby sublime » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:48 am

..

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MrSparkle
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby MrSparkle » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:16 am

I use Word 2010. Use the web view (not print view), with left side navigation panel (a.k.a. document map). Separate out dates/classes/cases with headers (ctrl-alt-1, 2, 3, etc.). Easy left-side navigation, with the advantage of links/tabs like OneNote without physically separating each bit. Typed book notes in black, and class notes in red. Used custom styles with keyboard shortcuts to switch quickly between black/red typing. Works awesome, syncs flawlessly, can be opened anywhere on any computer.

Onenote - Organizes things by multiple layers of tabs, which I don't like -- things get buried. Also, I'm limited to using only my computer, or a computer with onenote synced, to use all the features. Export to word doc works OK, unless you have columns or something more fancy than basic text.

Evernote - I use this for everything other than class notes. I like bullets, and Evernote does a terrible job handling cut-pastes of bullets within the same note (like when I'm rearranging my notes). The problem is its messy handling of HTML 1.x, although it's nice to have everything synced.

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Bronck
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby Bronck » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:23 am

I used One Note, but Word is more than adequate. I almost never used the extra features of One Note, and just preferred the easier ability to create text boxes and whatnot

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gdane
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby gdane » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:25 pm

Pen and paper. You don't need to transcribe everything your professor says. Plus, writing stuff down and later typing it into an outline, rather than typing and copying and pasting, will help you remember it better.

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hephaestus
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby hephaestus » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:31 pm

Bronck wrote:I used One Note, but Word is more than adequate. I almost never used the extra features of One Note, and just preferred the easier ability to create text boxes and whatnot

This. I didn't use a ton of the extra features, but OneNote's flexibility makes it worth it. For example, being able to toggle between different notebooks without opening a new document in word.

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rinkrat19
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:46 pm

gdane wrote:Pen and paper. You don't need to transcribe everything your professor says. Plus, writing stuff down and later typing it into an outline, rather than typing and copying and pasting, will help you remember it better.

I know people who do this and do it well, but I personally have a hard time writing fast enough. I did have one professor 1L year who didn't allow computers, and I did fine, but her teaching style was paced so that there wasn't as much to write down (powerpoint slides that we could download helped).

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Keithustus
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby Keithustus » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:59 am

rinkrat19 wrote: (powerpoint slides that we could download helped).


I get shivers thinking about law professors using PowerPoint. But I admit that my view is tainted by having suffered through hundreds of hours of DOD slideshows over the years.

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NoodleyOne
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby NoodleyOne » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:33 am

I plan on handwriting notes, just because I know if I have my computer in front of me I'm going to want to look at porn. Is handwriting notes then moving them to OneNote/Word a decent method?

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rinkrat19
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:37 am

NoodleyOne wrote:I plan on handwriting notes, just because I know if I have my computer in front of me I'm going to want to look at porn. Is handwriting notes then moving them to OneNote/Word a decent method?

Really any method is fine as long as you take good notes and then transcribe them well, either regularly or (less fun) all at once at the end of the term.

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gdane
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby gdane » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:38 am

NoodleyOne wrote:I plan on handwriting notes, just because I know if I have my computer in front of me I'm going to want to look at porn. Is handwriting notes then moving them to OneNote/Word a decent method?

I handwrite and I just transfer my notes over when I put my outline together. Yes it's repetitive, but writing my notes and then typing them into an outline has helped me grasp stuff much better. And yea you don't dick around on the internet when you have a pen and notebook, as opposed to a computer, in front of you.

whynat
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby whynat » Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:17 pm

gdane wrote:
NoodleyOne wrote:I plan on handwriting notes, just because I know if I have my computer in front of me I'm going to want to look at porn. Is handwriting notes then moving them to OneNote/Word a decent method?

I handwrite and I just transfer my notes over when I put my outline together. Yes it's repetitive, but writing my notes and then typing them into an outline has helped me grasp stuff much better. And yea you don't dick around on the internet when you have a pen and notebook, as opposed to a computer, in front of you.

I used this method and found it very effective. It is also very time-consuming. Not many people handwrite, but if you have a style/method, then it can work out really well.

I tried typing notes for a few classes and I found myself transcribing and missing parts of the lecture that I know I would have written down.

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bk1
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby bk1 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:19 pm

Use what works best for you. There is no best software.

Void
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby Void » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:53 pm

Really no reason for OP not to hand write, especially if that's what s/he is used to doing. I hand wrote in lots of classes and then typed outlines (in plain old Word) at the end of the semester. If you're used to the freedom of hand writing, no software is going to even come close.

memo2partner
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby memo2partner » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:51 pm

word was perfectly fine for me (I liked it because I could use the search function to quickly scan my notes), but use whatever you are most comfortable with.

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Keithustus
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby Keithustus » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:20 am

Thank you all! I will do as some of you have recommended and take advantage of the strengths of different methods. For now I'll take paper notes for general class discussion, type case-specific notes into the areas I have reserved for them on each of my case briefs, then consolidate it all into OneNote as I gain proficiency on that and generate my study materials. After a semester or two of this, I may be in a good position to transition from paper note taking to doing so directly by OneNote.

First day of class is today. First class is torts in 2 hours. (excited!)

Void
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby Void » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:30 am

Keithustus wrote:Thank you all! I will do as some of you have recommended and take advantage of the strengths of different methods. For now I'll take paper notes for general class discussion, type case-specific notes into the areas I have reserved for them on each of my case briefs, then consolidate it all into OneNote as I gain proficiency on that and generate my study materials. After a semester or two of this, I may be in a good position to transition from paper note taking to doing so directly by OneNote.

First day of class is today. First class is torts in 2 hours. (excited!)


Have fun discussing the kid who kicked the other kid with the bum leg. :)

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Keithustus
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby Keithustus » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:14 pm

Void wrote:
Keithustus wrote:Have fun discussing the kid who kicked the other kid with the bum leg. :)


Ah, so, so perfect. Actually, the professor says that if he really wanted to, he could teach a huge chunk of the class using that one case. But then we wouldn't get much practice reading and briefing other cases. So we'll be returning to it briefly as we cross into each area: damages (why those amounts?), negligence (teacher, schools), consent (boys playing dangerous games), etc.

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kay2016
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Re: (1L Fall 2013) Best Software for Note-Taking?

Postby kay2016 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:32 pm

Tried Circus Ponies this week.. Didn't find it usable for my purposes at all. Am now planning on using word from here on out!




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