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Note Taking Tips?

I'm in my first year of university and trying desperately to come up with the best way to take notes on my mac...

I've been looking into notae and yojimbo (I like the tagging features alot, but dislike that I can't put in pictures and such) but have heard good things about journler and devonthink.

The problem with Notae (which I used today) is everything is in SQL databases which is going to make it difficult. Plus most of these apps REQUIRE you to make a new database file rather than a bunch of text files which it will database and collect, etc. I've also heard wiki's are a great way to take notes but have no clue how to do so on my mac.

So please, if you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them. I'm sure there are many like me who also would love to know any suggestions for great apps for us Univeristy kids.

mudchet's picture

paper then bits

I am a director at a consulting firm. I attend lots of meetings on a diverse set of topics. I need to have the maximum possible recall with the least amount of effort.

The paper then bits approach has been the most successful method I have come across in 16 years of employment.

Paper as the initial capture medium is infinitely flexible. I can draw arrows, diagrams, boxes, any non-text elements that take too long on a computer. And I am not dependent on batteries, drivers, disk space, etc. Things that go bad at the worst times.

Preferably immediately after the meeting but no more than 24 hours later I type in my notes. I have a standard MS Word template I use.

The process of typing the notes in is not only a review but an exercise in restating the facts, summarizing and clarifying things that I did not capture effectively. Most of my learning probably happens at this step.

Afterwards I print out the notes and file them in my planner. I then have a legible, well-written collection of notes to refer back to, which I do.

It also facilitates collaboration and sharing. Nobody wants a photocopy of my handwritten notes, but people are willing to accept them if you have a digital version of yours to offer. At important meetings I will share my notes with my colleagues to insure we all captured the same information.




An Oblique Strategy:
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