There are copious questions about note-taking and a handful more regarding digital note-taking. In today’s high tech world, we are moving ahead with technology incorporated into our everyday life. Phones, tablets, laptops are everywhere with us. It would be unjust if we do not appreciate that technology has made the magnitude of our work easier. For students, the recent trend is to take notes digitally. Well, apart from fitting into the trends, are digital notes really helpful? If yes, then how?
Let me address this question through the article.
I have previously written about – 5 Common Mistakes that You Should Avoid While Taking Notes
I suggest you read that article before this one to get a stronger hold on the note-taking system.
Today, let me highlight the top advantages of digital note-taking to you. Everything is put plain and simple for you to effortlessly see through the benefits digital note-taking can provide you in the long run. So, without further flurry, here are the top benefits of digital note-taking.
I know a secret about you. That day, while you were reviewing the class lectures, you wanted to add some high yield information to your notes. But alas! There was no space left. Finally, you managed to clog it up at the bottom of the page and pasted some sticky notes. Am I right, or am I right?
Ok! I might not be on the nail, but you have been through it, right? You know where I am coming from.
The best part about digital notes is that you do not have to worry about falling short of pages or those eraser marks in your notes. Editing on any digital platform is plain sailing compared to traditional notes.
(You can check – 5 minimalistic and essential stationery supplies for students )
You can change the alignment, move the text from one paragraph to the next, and even undo your mistakes. What else can you ask for? This is the dream for every student.
I wish tapping 2 times on my notebook could bring back the text I scribbled. (I would not lie; I tried it. Although, instead of tapping on the notebook, I was banging my head on the notebook.)
Easy to embed links and images
Ever wished if you could just copy-paste those pathophysiology slides in your notebook to refer back in future? Often the information we have to learn can only be retained through visual memory.
In these instances, the digital notes take a leap ahead of the traditional notes. With digital notes, you can easily attach a lot of images to your notes from books, PowerPoint slides or your lectures.
Similarly, for instance, you have to create a presentation on different note-taking methods. You came across this article where you found some key points that can help you with the slides. What will you do next? You can simply embed the link to this article into your digital notes. Thus, you are just a click away from the reference articles while finalising your presentation.
Now think about the possibility of doing the same in physical notes!
In medical school, you often refer to numerous publications and journals to understand the nuances of medicine. But it all goes in vain when you can not save it to your notes to effortlessly jump back to it when required.
Easy to organise and search
The biggest challenge that we face with notes is to have them all in one place. In a way, that you do not have to flip multiple folders when you need them.
Now, let us be legitimate. No matter how disciplined you are to keep book tabs or dividers between your notes, it is very cumbersome to keep track of everything. Moreover, you even need to maintain an index if you quickly want to jump to a subtopic in each section. I am tired just by the thought of it.
And don’t start me on how to search a keyword in your notes. It is a nightmare. (If you have a trick to search for keywords in traditional notes, please let me know.)
However, all this takes few seconds in digital notes. The organisation of the notes in various files and folders is much simpler. It is easy to put tags, bookmarks and pin comments to the notes. Searching anything within the notes or a folder is 100x simplified with digital-notes.
Easy to carry
Portability becomes a concern when you are carrying physical notes. It is difficult to fit it in, and it gets harsh on your shoulders when you have to ferry it around on your college campus. To lessen this hassle, you might switch to carry only a set of notes instead of the whole folder with you. However, it also comes with the risk of losing those loose sheets. Additionally, there will be days when you wish you had the whole folder to review another topic in your downtime.
This is not a problem when you make digital notes. All the devices are very compact, with a great storage capacity to store multiple folders for you. Whether it is your tablet or laptop, it is simpler to carry them around.
Easily accessible anywhere
You wait for your food in the canteen and wonder if you could make the best use of this time.
Ever thought of it? No??
It might sound too ‘nerdy’, but realistically time management is crucial for students. You have to prepare for many tests and exams, and you want to utilise every margin of time available to you. Unfortunately, these time margins are unplanned. You might not have carried your notes or even your laptop on this particular day.
Now, this is the rightful test. Looks like you are stuck.
Well, did I mention the cloud feature? The magnificence of digital notes is the ability to sync your notes to multiple devices. So, even if you forgot your tablet at home, you can refer to the notes on your mobile phone. In fact, you can even add quick notes through your mobile phone.
What if you forgot your mobile phone too? Come on, you never forget that, be honest.
However, even if you forget, you can log in through any of your friend’s devices to access the notes.
Now, don’t tell me you don’t have friends. Duh!
To conclude, the above were the top 5 advantages of using digital notes. In this fast pacing world, digital notes make life painless. Nonetheless, that does not take away the beauty of the traditional notes. There are always 2 sides to the coin.
Let me know what is the biggest challenge in note-taking for you? I will try to cover that up in future posts.
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