The old adage of parents of children who complained about school was “when I was your age, we went to school uphill, back and forth”. Today’s parents might say “when I was your age, I had to take notes in class by jotting them down in a notebook.”
It may seem strange that some students take notes this way, since many use laptops and tablets to take notes for later. But what is the best way to take these notes? There are plenty of options to help students and others stay organized and on task. Here are a few of my favorites:
Grammarly is a smartphone app and browser extension that checks spelling, subject-verb agreement, pronunciation, and even pitch detection. It is a complete writing assistant. The browser extension for Chrome, Windows, iPad and Android fixes grammar wherever you write. Type something into Evernote, Google, social media, and even email and Grammarly can spot errors or ways to improve a sentence. Misspelled words are underlined in red and when you hold the cursor under that word, Grammarly corrects the spelling. I found it very accurate. It’s free for most of what students will need, but there are subscription options that offer more functionality.
Evernote is one of the best tools I’ve found for creating documents and saving and organizing anything. Students can create folders for each class and create and save notes in these notebooks. You can also capture items from the internet for them to refer to later, record lecture audio, and collaborate with study partners. Evernote also has the Scannable app to create PDFs of documents that can go into those notebooks by just using the smartphone app to create a file with the camera. Evernote can be used for free on one device. A subscription syncs these notes across phones, laptops, and computers.
Google has its own suite of productivity tools and they’re all free. Google Drive is cloud storage for all your works such as documents, spreadsheets, photos and much more. If you save something to Google Drive, you can access it from anywhere you sign in to Google.
Google Docs is a bit like Evernote, but it’s best used if you need to save a document as a PDF file. Many college professors assign and accept reports and articles as Google Docs. Google Keep creates shareable notes and pins them to a board for organization. Keep works cross-platform on smartphones, laptops, Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Calendar. It’s very useful for making to-do lists, shopping lists and taking notes in class or at a business meeting. It’s also very easy to share and collaborate on projects using Google Keep.
Google Collections is a little-known but useful extension and app where you can save links, images, and more from all of your search results. Not just for students and workers, but a great way to save recipes you find online, news you want to read later, or movies to watch. I searched for Paddington 2, clicked on a bookmark, and it’s saved to my Google Collections watchlist. Use collections to plan trips to places you want to go. And any collection is shareable. You should check your own files now because you’ve probably saved stuff to a collection you don’t know about. To check your collection, head to the Google search homepage and click the icon at the top right of the screen next to your Google profile picture. This will open a menu of all Google tools, then scroll down until you see Collections. Once you click, you’ll see everything you’ve saved (mine goes back years) even if you haven’t saved it to a collection.
To create a new Google collection, simply click on “new” and give it a name. Whenever you search for something like a tourist spot you want to visit, a book, movie, recipe or product list you like, just save it to this collection by clicking the bookmark in the search results. the research. It works on most websites