Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

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TheDapperDruid

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Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby TheDapperDruid » Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:49 pm

I wrote all of my notes by hand in undergrad, but I'm not sure what to expect in regard to note taking in law school. Will there be things I need to draw out? If not, then it'd be quicker to type up and easier to organize/edit/turn into outlines as a word doc, no? Are there other note taking programs/apps that would be better than a word doc?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

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alora

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby alora » Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:34 pm

i'm just starting 1L, but i've heard great things about microsoft OneNote and it's likely what i'll keep using. i watched/read a few tutorials on the program and it's a great notetaking tool for me. but really i think if you're not fussed about having super organized notes, you could get by just fine with google docs or regular microsoft word (or pages on a mac).

doing notes by hand is surely doable and it'll make you choosier about what information to put down since you can only write so fast, but i think it'll probably be easier on you to go with typing.

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RSN

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby RSN » Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:54 pm

There are lots of ways to take notes, and different things work for different people. You'll hear some people say taking notes by hand is better because you retain the information more. That wasn't true for me, but I'm a transcriber, and I really learn the material when I condense my 200+ page Word docs into outlines. As with a lot of things in the fall of 1L, you have to kind of experiment until you find a method that seems to make sense. I can say that it's unlikely you'll have that much to draw out (with a few exceptions in Property or Contracts, maybe), but not a bad idea to keep a notebook and pens in your bag on the off-chance you need something like that.

My biggest recommendation is to avoid the pull of the internet if you're on your laptop. I seriously recommend just turning off your Wifi when you get to class, because the temptation can be strong to check Facebook or whatever, and even if you're only unfocused for 60 seconds you can miss something important and be confused the rest of the class period. Obviously not every minute of every class is going to be critical, and you'll develop a feel for that, but it's something to keep in mind.

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Auxilio

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby Auxilio » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:19 pm

alora wrote:i'm just starting 1L, but i've heard great things about microsoft OneNote and it's likely what i'll keep using. i watched/read a few tutorials on the program and it's a great notetaking tool for me. but really i think if you're not fussed about having super organized notes, you could get by just fine with google docs or regular microsoft word (or pages on a mac).

doing notes by hand is surely doable and it'll make you choosier about what information to put down since you can only write so fast, but i think it'll probably be easier on you to go with typing.


I am fully supportive of people who want to take notes by hand or whatever but when I see people taking notes in Word over OneNote I literally want to go on a five minute rant to them about why OneNote is better in every conceivable way.

If you can keep up with lecturer (not hard) and are willing to commit the extra time to type up the notes (IN ONENOTE PLEASE) outside class hand writing is probably the best option (also some profs won't allow laptops)

ETA: I generally didn't make my own outlines, but if someone wants to see a sample .one outline I've made PM me.

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TheDapperDruid

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby TheDapperDruid » Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:12 pm

Thanks everyone! I'm going to download one note regardless because it's free, and I'll feel things out once classes start.

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Auxilio

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby Auxilio » Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:17 pm

TheDapperDruid wrote:Thanks everyone! I'm going to download one note regardless because it's free, and I'll feel things out once classes start.


I will say the version (non-metro or whatever they call it) included in office is much better to work with in my experience.

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby jrvansant » Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:30 pm

alora wrote:i'm just starting 1L, but i've heard great things about microsoft OneNote and it's likely what i'll keep using. i watched/read a few tutorials on the program and it's a great notetaking tool for me. but really i think if you're not fussed about having super organized notes, you could get by just fine with google docs or regular microsoft word (or pages on a mac).

doing notes by hand is surely doable and it'll make you choosier about what information to put down since you can only write so fast, but i think it'll probably be easier on you to go with typing.


Do you have any of these tutorials handy? Or they're just on YouTube or something? It seems fairly intuitive but I feel like I'm probably missing a lot of stuff.

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RCSOB657

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby RCSOB657 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:48 pm

You might run into a class or 3 that doesn't allow computers. Keep that in mind.

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TheDapperDruid

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby TheDapperDruid » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:08 pm

Auxilio wrote:
TheDapperDruid wrote:Thanks everyone! I'm going to download one note regardless because it's free, and I'll feel things out once classes start.


I will say the version (non-metro or whatever they call it) included in office is much better to work with in my experience.


I'm running on Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac, so I don't believe that it's included in my version. However, I'll be upgrading my Macbook when the new one is released, so I'll be sure to use the version in the new office suite if it is included.

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Auxilio

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby Auxilio » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:11 pm

TheDapperDruid wrote:
Auxilio wrote:
TheDapperDruid wrote:Thanks everyone! I'm going to download one note regardless because it's free, and I'll feel things out once classes start.


I will say the version (non-metro or whatever they call it) included in office is much better to work with in my experience.


I'm running on Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac, so I don't believe that it's included in my version. However, I'll be upgrading my Macbook when the new one is released, so I'll be sure to use the version in the new office suite if it is included.


I think it's included in every post 2010 version. Your lawschool probably will give you a license, and if not (or maybe even still) Microsoft lets you get 4 years for 80 for two devices and a bunch of onedrive (best cloud) storage and some Skype minutes.

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby z0mbiecatz1234 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:19 pm

I personally love taking handwritten notes. I'm not sure why. I find that I listen in class more and actually retain the information better while I write down (many times in shorthand that only I can understand) the most relevant things that are said. I'm a huge fan of writing notes in my books while the professor is going over particularly important sections. Fall semester 1L I typed my notes and they were a weird jumbled mess (my own fault). Spring 1L I hand wrote my notes and found that drawing charts from the board were easier and I didn't feel like I couldn't keep up. My grades were better in the spring than the fall, but I highly doubt it's because I hand wrote my notes. I might give OneNote a try this semester just to see what it's like!

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alora

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby alora » Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:40 am

jrvansant wrote:
alora wrote:i'm just starting 1L, but i've heard great things about microsoft OneNote and it's likely what i'll keep using. i watched/read a few tutorials on the program and it's a great notetaking tool for me. but really i think if you're not fussed about having super organized notes, you could get by just fine with google docs or regular microsoft word (or pages on a mac).

doing notes by hand is surely doable and it'll make you choosier about what information to put down since you can only write so fast, but i think it'll probably be easier on you to go with typing.


Do you have any of these tutorials handy? Or they're just on YouTube or something? It seems fairly intuitive but I feel like I'm probably missing a lot of stuff.

i know for sure that i watched this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h07qZLLQc4Ic, but honestly just googling "onenote tutorial" or similar will give you some good stuff. i didn't bookmark any of the links or anything, sorry!

lavarman84

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby lavarman84 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:44 am

I prefer to hand-write notes. You learn to weed out the important things being said since you can't transcribe everything. It helps you when it's time to outline, and it helps you retain information because you have to listen and think while taking notes.

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jrvansant

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby jrvansant » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:24 am

alora wrote:
jrvansant wrote:
alora wrote:i'm just starting 1L, but i've heard great things about microsoft OneNote and it's likely what i'll keep using. i watched/read a few tutorials on the program and it's a great notetaking tool for me. but really i think if you're not fussed about having super organized notes, you could get by just fine with google docs or regular microsoft word (or pages on a mac).

doing notes by hand is surely doable and it'll make you choosier about what information to put down since you can only write so fast, but i think it'll probably be easier on you to go with typing.


Do you have any of these tutorials handy? Or they're just on YouTube or something? It seems fairly intuitive but I feel like I'm probably missing a lot of stuff.

i know for sure that i watched this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h07qZLLQc4Ic, but honestly just googling "onenote tutorial" or similar will give you some good stuff. i didn't bookmark any of the links or anything, sorry!


Thanks!

RaceJudicata

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby RaceJudicata » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:29 am

Call me crazy, but one big word doc for each class. Print it all out --> condense it into an outline --> work with that outline, and eventually print that out --> condense it into a more focused outline.

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby Nebby » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:32 am

Do whatever works best for you in undergrad. I took handwritten notes all three years of law school. (granted by 3L I think I took a total of 3 pages of notes per class)

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Auxilio

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby Auxilio » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:33 am

RaceJudicata wrote:Call me crazy, but one big word doc for each class. Print it all out --> condense it into an outline --> work with that outline, and eventually print that out --> condense it into a more focused outline.


Have you ever used OneNote? If you want to work that way than you can just treat OneNote as a word doc that constantly auto-saves, auto-creates navigation/table of contents, and is easier to insert crap into.

RaceJudicata

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby RaceJudicata » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:55 am

Auxilio wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:Call me crazy, but one big word doc for each class. Print it all out --> condense it into an outline --> work with that outline, and eventually print that out --> condense it into a more focused outline.


Have you ever used OneNote? If you want to work that way than you can just treat OneNote as a word doc that constantly auto-saves, auto-creates navigation/table of contents, and is easier to insert crap into.


Yes, OneNote is fine, and I used it during 1L. I don't love how OneNote prints (and I print all of my notes for any/all studying). I'm sure I could format things the same in OneNote, but I just haven't taken the time to do so...I think the moral is, different techniques work for different people.

During 1L, I wish I had handwritten (I think you you learn the best this way). Now, 3LOL with offer in hand, I admittedly will be surfing the web frequently in class.

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:41 pm

For those concerned about pricing, you may want to check out the Office for education website. A lot of schools give their students free access to the entire Office suite via your school e-mail.

Here's the link for students: https://products.office.com/en-us/stude ... b=students

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RSN

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby RSN » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:26 am

lawman84 wrote:I prefer to hand-write notes. You learn to weed out the important things being said since you can't transcribe everything. It helps you when it's time to outline, and it helps you retain information because you have to listen and think while taking notes.


Not with that attitude

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encore1101

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby encore1101 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:42 am

+1 for handwriting notes. I type fast enough that I can type 90% of what the professors say verbatim, so I was just on auto-pilot, transcribing everything without paying attention.


Handwriting notes, on the other hand, forced me to actually listen and write down the key points of what the professor was saying. It also was easier to draw diagrams and stuff

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:50 am

Eh, I transcribed whether I was taking notes by hand or on the computer - it's just the way I take notes. So I preferred the computer so I could have it all ready to print at the end. I also didn't really outline the way most people do, though - I just studied from my notes. So like everyone says, do what works for you.

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby bacillusanthracis » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:13 am

Take notes however you like. By the time 3L (and likely sooner) rolls around, your class notes will be about half a page long or somewhere near that length.

Whether or not you make the conscious effort, you'll develop the ability to separate the bits of wheat from the bales of chaff.

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Clearly

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby Clearly » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:10 am

I took less than a page of notes across 2 years of law school. It's not mandatory. Just pay attention.

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crumb cake

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Re: Is There A Better Way to Take Notes?

Postby crumb cake » Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:12 pm

onenote also sucks at pasting into Word.

your outlines/lists will be rekt.



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