Laptop, Hand Notes, or Livescribe Pen?

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Laptop, Hand Notes, or Livescribe Pen?

Postby rickgrimes69 » Tue May 22, 2012 11:06 am

0L here, and I'm debating how I should take notes in class. I had a netbook in undergrad that I took notes on and found OneNote very helpful for catching all the information, since I'm pretty slow with a pen and my handwriting is awful. However, I'm also of the opinion that typing my notes prevents me from really listening and synthesizing the information since I spend so much time trying to transcribe every word. That's why whenever I studied for a test, the first thing I'd usually do was transcribe my electronic notes by hand - something about the process of physically handwriting them helps my retention. However, I do question if this philosophy will be practical for law school, when I'll likely have a much higher quantity of notes and will need my pre-exam time to outline and whatever else. So how do I capture all the information, while still making sure I'm listening and paying attention?

I think I may have found a solution: The Livescribe Pen. It's basically a computerized pen that records everything the professor is saying while you're writing. If you need clarification on something later on, you can tap a point in your notes, and your pen will play back what the professor was saying at the time you wrote that particular note.

I thought it seemed a bit gimmicky at first, but the more I consider it the more I'm thinking it might offer me a good balance between allowing me to take notes by hand while still ensuring that I don't miss critical information. Has anybody tried these out or had any experience with them?

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Duke Silver

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Re: Laptop, Hand Notes, or Livescribe Pen?

Postby Duke Silver » Tue May 22, 2012 11:16 am

Does it actually record the class? At my school, at least, you're not able to record without consent of the teacher.

Edit: Also, OneNote is way easier.

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Re: Laptop, Hand Notes, or Livescribe Pen?

Postby blurbz » Tue May 22, 2012 11:17 am

I like using my computer, for a variety of reasons.

You'll want to check with your school about the pen: some schools or individual professors forbid recording classes.


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Re: Laptop, Hand Notes, or Livescribe Pen?

Postby PMan99 » Tue May 22, 2012 11:47 am

There are two points you bring up that I think show why you should hand write:

A) Better retention

B) The sheer amount of notes you'll end up having. You can't write as fast with a paper and pencil, but that forces you to actually distill at the time what's important and what isn't.

Moreover, the breakdown of people using their computers usually goes something like: 95% of GChat, Reddit, ESPN, Facebook and 5% of people actually taking notes. I'm sure you think you have the discipline to not do this but when your professor is nearing the end of his second hour of monotonous droning it becomes really hard. On the other hand I found writing things down twice (first just taking notes in the margins of the casebook, and second in class) really helps with retaining information, which is a lifesaver come exam time, when you don't have to print off 300 pages of in class notes at which point you've lost all points of reference and can't tell what's important and what isn't.

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