Modern Note-Taking: How to Take Effective Digital Notes
Jul 23, 2019
Do you always forget what you read or heard? That’s because we tend to forget nearly 40 percent of new information after one day.
You may be taking notes – but are you living in the note-taking dark ages? Do you have lots of old and shabby notebooks and dried up pens.
You don’t have to stop taking notes altogether. You just need to switch to digital notes to make your life easier and more convenient.
If you have never taken digital notes before, you may not know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide on how to take effective digital notes. Let’s get started!
Tip 1 – Stay Engaged and Avoid Distractions
Just because you’re moving to digital notes doesn’t mean that you need to be constantly distracted.
One in three people are distracted by their smartphone devices while they’re crossing the street. Don’t put yourself in harms way by taking notes on the go.
Our attention spans have dropped substantially since smartphones became an ever-present part of our lives. Remain focused when you’re taking digital notes.
If you’re in a meeting or lecture, you don’t need to be looking down at your device the whole time. Keep your eyes on the speaker and only look down occasionally in order to type of quick note.
As you get more and more familiar with typing notes on your device, you’ll be able to speed things up. This will help you to avoid distractions.
Tip 2 – Always go Back to Edit Your Notes
Do you ever go back to read your notes and find that they don’t make much sense? You may produce clear and concise notes during meetings and lectures. That’s why it’s important to return back to edit your notes.
This isn’t always easy to do the old-fashioned way. Sure, you can rewrite your notes. And yet, this takes a lot of time and effort.
You should return to your notes while everything is fresh in your memory. Taking better notes can also significantly improve your memory of the information. You can consolidate your notes after the meeting to keep everything that’s relevant.
Tip 3 – Make Notes Available Across Devices
Over 40 percent of people are multi-device users. You may have a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop and even a desktop at home.
You don’t want to only have access to your notes when you’re using a particular device. Make your notes available across devices so that they’re more convenient.
You could start writing notes during a meeting on your tablet. When you get back to your desk, you start editing them. Later, you may refer back to them when you’re traveling home on your smartphone.
These interactive notebooks ensure that you can access your notes anywhere and everywhere. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing or where.
Tip 4 – Take Advantage of the Voice Feature
Reports say that voice search is going to be the future. You can also use the voice feature on many note-making apps.
This could include recording the meeting or talk while you make notes. This way you can return to the recording when you’re reviewing your notes.
This also helps prevent any confusion later. You can always remind yourself what was said in the meeting with the audio recording.
Ensure that you always ask permission before you record your friends or colleagues. You never know when someone’s going to take offense and sue you.
Tip 5 – Add Colors, Images, and Files
When you write notes on paper you don’t have the time (or skillset) to jot down pictures or diagrams.
Yet when you produce digital notes, you can always copy and paste diagrams to your notes. You can even attach PDF documents to your notes. An image can be essential to understanding or highlighting something.
Color can help to organize your notes and highlight significant parts. Blocks of words can also be brought to life by adding color.
You don’t always have the time to make your notes look good when you’re writing on paper. And yet, on digital notebooks, you can concentrate on style as much as substance.
Tip 6 – Share Your Notes With Other People
You have developed an ability to take effective and concise digital notes.
Why would you want to share them with other people? You can also benefit from sharing your notes with other people.
When you only have one copy in your notebook, you risk losing your notes if you allow someone else to borrow them. With digital notes, you can receive feedback and adjustments to improve your notes.
Tip 7 – Keep Your Digital Notebooks Organized
Just because your notebooks are always in one place, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to stay organized.
Make sure you have everything organized and arranged in folders on your computer. This should also be backed up for safekeeping.
If you need to find a particular note, it should be easy to locate. You don’t want to waste time searching for notebooks.
Tip 8 – Don’t Forget Your Device Charger
The only advantage that the old-school notebook has over the digital device is that you never need to charge up your paper.
If you want to create effective modern digital notes, you need to bring your charger with you always. Don’t leave it at home!
How to Produce Modern Digital Notes
Now you know how to produce modern digital notes. Don’t waste your time with scraps of paper. Switch to a digital device for your notes.
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