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Your Guide to taking beautiful digital notes and conquering midterm season

In the midst of red and gold leaves that form a carpet under your feet to the brisk air that makes you feel alive when you take a breath, there is a sudden realization that midterms are upon you and remember all the notes you took on that one notebook that you kept in that one drawer above the dresser, well it ain’t there anymore! Panic
starts to settle in as you rummage through your drawers that
are mostly filled with little hotel shampoo bottles that you apparently like to collect, (
Areej) but the notebook is nowhere to
be found. As you approach the last drawer, you say a silent prayer, “Please be in there, please I didn’t make any friends in this class because who talks to other people anymore especially in an 8:30am lecture.  If this notebook is in there, all my problems will
be solved, I will
single handedly end poverty and famine, I will get straight As and won’t pull all-nighters anymore (that’s a lie) but this all depends on this red notebook that I got from the dollar store for 50 cents”. You open the drawer and
are delighted to see the notebook is there! But there is a powerful scent of lavender that fills the room as soon as you open the drawer and when you pull the
slimey mess of a notebook out, you realize that you messed up. Now, you don’t have notes which means you won’t pass this class, you won’t graduate, and you won’t get a job and then you will have to move to Nepal and open a drug cartel because obviously you don’t have any other choice. Yay hotel shampoo bottles!! 

To avoid this very specific situation, you can take notes digitally. Something I have been doing since the start of this semester and this article is my masterclass on everything digital notes so
that you can become a pro at note-taking and take cute Instagram photos of your beautiful notes. 

First, you need an iPad or there are
range of other electronics that you can use such a Google pixel book or a stylus with a pad that you can attach to your PC. But I am experienced with the iPad so that is what I’ll be talking about today. The iPad
that I use is an iPad Air and I use the Apple Pencil to take notes on it. The Apple Pencil can be
a bit hard to write with as it has a round shape, so I bought a super cheap silicon cover from Amazon that gives me the support to write. But, if you haven’t bought an apple pencil yet, there is a second-generation Apple pencil that you might enjoy more which has a triangular shape, whatever floats your boat. 

Secondly, the apps
that I use are One-note (the love of my life) and
GoodNotes. A hack
that I learned was that you can easily upload the entire lecture onto One-notes by dragging and dropping your desired lecture onto an open page, then you can select, “insert as a print-out” and the lecture
is easily inserted. I can write on the slide by using the drawing feature on One-note and these notes sync onto every device which is super neat! I have attached a screenshot of one of my Neuroscience lectures below. You can type, write, draw and
basically do anything on One-note and it’s all free!! 

I really enjoy taking digital notes as it gives you the option to sync all your notes across your devices and let’s not forget how environmentally friendly it is. So, if you’re thinking about going digital, I would definitely recommend it! 

I also have a
that I made to keep myself motivated to study so if you’d like, you can follow it @medhopeful_

All photos courtesy of author.


Hi everyone! I am a fourth year neuroscience student at the University of Guelph and the senior editor for HC :) Welcome to my Her Campus Page