This One App Completely Transformed The Way I Take Notes in Lectures, And It Will For You Too!

A lot has changed in the last year, let alone within the turn of the 21st century. But you know one thing that hasn't ever changed?

The Education System. The system of having to sit down and listen to your teacher or a university lecturer talk for an hour or two non-stop, as you quietly listen and take notes. This, has largely remained the same for the past 150 years and I think it's fair to say this process is not only tedious, but an ineffective form of learning.

Yet whether you love or hate the education system - note-taking is considered an essential requirement of academia!

So, I ask you to revaluate your note taking process. What's currently your preferred style of taking lecture notes? Do you like to hand write them the traditional way by putting paper to pen? Or do you type away at a laptop? Most people fit into one or both of these categories. Yet either method can present a long and tiring process, especially during a two hour lecture on a Monday morning. [shudders]

And although being able to take good notes is considered an essential life skill, most of us, admittedly myself included, just aren't very good at it! I know lectures are supposed to train you to listen intently and cherry pick the key ideas to make note of but If you're anything like me, let's be real here, it's not always easy to live up to this ideal.

Instead, you end typing for most of the lecture because you want to get every little detail down that the lecturer is saying. Most of the time, you will be left with a very tired hand and some very messy and illegible notes, filled with plenty of half finished sentences here and there, and bullet pointed ideas or scribbles that don't really make any sense. And now that lectures, for the most part are pre-recorded online, we spend even longerrrrr pausing and rewinding the videos, just so we can get everything down.

Sound familiar?

You might have aslo been conditioned by technology and how fast paced everything is to have a really short attention span and so you find it incredibly difficult to concentrate for long periods of time without zoning out completely. It also certainly doesn't help when you have that one lecturer with a monotone and dull voice, who is droning on and on and on. There's always one who knows just how to lull your already tired, drooping eyes into a deep sleep. Next thing you know you've dozed off and you wake up wondering what just happend.

Hey, we've all been there.

But don't despair- all hope is not lost! Thanks to a great recommendation from an older student, I've now discovered an app that has COMPLETELY TRANSFORMED my entire lecture note-taking process! Otter is an app that allows you to transcribe your lectures from speech to text, in real time!

Now, I know what you are thinking...isn't that well, technically cheating your way out of having to take any notes? My answer to that is well... yes and no! You see transcribing your notes is an entirely more efficient way of getting everything down and it certainly has its advantages.

For one, it allows you to actually take in and digest what the lecturer is saying, rather than just typing away aimlessly, whilst failing to even comprehend the words you are noting down. It also means that you don't have to worry about missing any key ideas or missing out on any nice juicy phrases that the lecturer might say! For me, personally, this has made lectures more relaxing and enjoyable to watch and they no longer feel like chores.

It's equally great to have all your notes - in one accessible place! I can even export my transcripts onto Google Keep which I then transfer to One Note so I can keep them organised further.

A large part of university is finding out what works for you. If this method helps you out and gets you the same, if not better, results than hand-writing or typing them yourself, I personally don't see the harm in it! I promise you that this article is not #sponsored or an #ad, so you can be sure I'm not just saying this for the sake of promoting it! I have genuinely found this app to be very useful and personally used it a lot myself when transcribing my own university lectures. So I can guarantee that it's totally legit and the best part is it can be used to record 40 mins uninterupted for FREE!

I use it all the time to record my hour long lectures into easy to digest text. Because my lectures are usually segmented into parts anyway, I find it most convenient to split my transcripts up in a similar way. But if you'd prefer to record uninterrupted, the app also has premium features too.

The only other disadvantage to transcribing is that you're bound to get a few spelling mistakes or misheard words every so often, but that's only to be expected. For the vast majority of your lecture, the words will be transcribed accurately and can easily be edited later on. All you have to do is sit back, relax and listen to your lecture, whilst Otter does all the hard work for you!

Just to prove how much I'm loving this app at the moment, and how useful transcribing really is, I'd thought I'd let you know that I actually used Otter to transcribe parts of this article using my own voice (with a few minor edits and added comments here and there).

Although you might have a lot more words to get through when you're reviewing your notes, you can simply downsize them and make them clearer later on, if you want to narrow it down to just the key information. The best way to do this is to turn your notes into bullet points or by highlighting the useful stuff. The important thing is that you have all of the lecture right in front of you, so you can be sure you haven't missed anything! Not only is this process quicker and more efficient, but it's more helpful in the long run. (No more doubts about misinformation or missing key details - because you can always go back and hear the text and speech in sync together later.)

We're no longer living in the past, and so we should use technology to help us get the most out of our education. If you'd really like to start transcribing your lectures into notes, why not download the Otter app today!

Need help taking notes and transcribing audio? Get Otter with 1-month FREE Pro Lite by signing up here.