My classmates are taking their notes digitally, but I can’t fathom how they keep up

I noticed today that as I frantically scribbled to keep up with my philosophy professor’s lecture, there was an audible hum of typing in the classroom. It was the first time I noticed that I could count more students using netbooks than notebooks to take notes in class.

Call me old-fashioned, but I like to take notes with a pen and paper. As I’ve discussed previously, the act of writing helps cement the lecture material in my mind better than passive listening does, and studies have shown that it’s not just me [pdf]. Still, I know that my old-fashioned ways are quickly going out of style.

I don’t know if typing notes aids memory as well as taking notes on paper does, but I do know that it does not work for me. I decided at the beginning of last year that it would be nice to bring my laptop to class so that my notes would be neatly organized (and actually legible for once), and changed my mind after only one or two classes. I could never type fast enough to keep up with the professor, and every five minutes I found myself cursing at not being able to copy the diagram on the board. It was a relief to have my Five Stars and Pentel R.S.V.P.s back at the end of that little experiment. Considering my negative experience, I wonder how my classmates can keep up. I know that not everyone learns the same way I do; maybe my peers don’t need notes as copious as mine in order to do well.

If notes are going digital soon anyway, maybe there is a technology that will make up for my ineptitude with typed notes. Tablet computers have been around for years, but I know only one person who uses one in class, and even then she types rather than using the stylus to take written notes. (Maybe Apple’s soon-to-be-announced tablet will bring tablet computers into more common use, the same way the iPhone has with smartphones.) There are also electronic pens which record your written notes for later uploading. I was able to test-write one such pen at MacWorld Expo last year, and it was all right. It would probably mesh well with my way of learning, but I don’t trust myself either to bring one pen to every class or to keep it charged. I’m also not sure if my busy schedule can accommodate the extra step of uploading the notes from the pen to my computer.

Of course, I’m making the assumption that my classmates are actually using their computers to take notes rather than goof off online, which is a huge leap of faith and a different rant entirely. But even though I’m not keeping up with the latest tech trends in note-taking, I’m doing what works best for my learning style, and I’m okay with that.

  • http://twitter.com/tiny_little_dot tiny_little_dot

    If I use my computer to take notes in class, it is inevitable that I will get distracted. I will end up goofing off online even if I don’t intend to. I know from experience!
    Interestingly, in my grad program, I have seen very few people using laptops for taking notes. Like, usually none. So, maybe that’s heartening to hear?

  • http://twitter.com/tiny_little_dot tiny_little_dot

    P.S. I had hoped this would be an entry that was like: “Check it out! I know how to be efficient and awesome at note-taking on the computer!” and my problems would be solved. ALAS NO.

    I should probably get one of those magical pens. I can definitely trust myself to have it in every class, if not charged…

  • suzanne

    Honestly, the idea of having a real notebook filled with notes is appealing to me, but usually writing at that pace hurts my hand and I end up not really being able to read what I wrote :( I usually bring my computer to class if it’s a class I take notes in. Of course there will be some classes I care less about (read: CHJA 120) and will spend my time playing scrabble on facebook :D but if it’s a class I’m interested in/care about my grade in then I definitely try to keep distractions to a minimum.

  • http://agentplusenvironment.com Jacqueline

    Last year, I watched the guy sitting in front of me play online poker all semester.

    I type faster than I write, so if the lecturer is talking fast, it’s easier for me to keep up if I’m typing than if I’m writing. That said, different classes lend themselves to different mediums… I’m using my laptop in one of my computer science classes, but any class with lots of diagrams or equations or symbols is going to be a pen and paper class for me. Last year, I switched between laptop and paper depending on the material presented in the lecture. And I tend to avoid online poker.

  • Olivia

    I wish I could have taken notes on a computer, as typing is faster and neater than my handwriting, but there were just too many symbols and diagrams in my math classes; I tried a few times, and always spent too much time tracking down special characters. Alas, now I have a box full of barely legible notebooks that I can’t bear to get rid of, because there’s a small chance that I’d want to look something up in my old notes someday :P

    A tablet could have been great.

  • Michael

    I type faster than I write, too. So it’s more efficient for me to type my notes out. What do I do, then, for diagrams? Whip out my notebook and copy them down! When it’s time to review, I either study from my laptop and my notebook at the same time, or I scan the relevant pages in. It’s really not that complicated to combine the two media.

  • iamhassi

    Why were Tablet PCs left out? Here’s a great video review of how to take notes with graphs on a tablet PC.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nikLEIdBzqg

    Here’s another example
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-x2h4G66aM&feature=related

    Tablets are not expensive either, you can get a nice Pentium M 1.6ghz for under $300
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=390151250047

    some even sell for $150
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290396757553

    I know everyone thinks they need a 3ghz quad core, but the Pentium M is plenty to run office and watch youtube videos.

    Using laptops in class is so 2000. Tablet PCs are the only way to go for taking notes.

    The advantages of tablets are obvious. Notes are all saved digitally so they can be printed out numerous times and emailed anywhere, and instead of carrying a dozen notebooks you just have one tablet PC.

    Of course some people have a hard time flipping through files on tablets to find what they’re looking for, similar to people that have a hard time with digital books like the Amazon Kindle. If you’re one of those people then stick with the traditional pen and paper.

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  • John

    I’m a physics grad student, and I also can’t fathom being able to keep up with a laptop. Almost everyone I know uses pencil and paper or a tablet, since physics is so figure-heavy.

    I now use that pen that you mentioned (the livescribe pulse), and it works quite well. The software leaves a bit to be desired, but it does let me search for keywords (it can OCR my chicken-scratch somehow), and replay lectures. Also, I feel better knowing that I have a few copies of my notes around, if my physical notebook gets lost. Unlike a tablet, if the pen runs our of batteries or crashes, it still works as a normal pen.

  • Old Fogey

    (Back in my day, luggables roamed the earth, and “laptops” were monochrome curiosities.)

    I agree with you, though, that the act of writing helps the memory.

  • MDillenbeck

    Buying a tablet PC and then typing notes instead of inking is like buying an electric mixer and using the bowl to mix everything by hand – not utilizing the features.

    Okay, I don’t know what class you were in, so there may have been nothing to ink. However, I have been using a tablet pc plus a netbook for several years, along with a Tekkeon battery to extend its life. While I learned to use OpenOffice’s text-line based formula editor for Calculus, ChemDraw was too clunky to use over inking. I never looked into alternatives for Physics classes.

    I don’t use OneNote, I use the basic Windows Journal. Using PDFs or a digital camera to make my books into a PDF, I print those to Journal so I can mark them up to my hearts content. Add in Adobe CS4 for a couple of art courses (and the Corel Painter Essentials 4 it came with), office software, and a U727 mobile broadband usb stick and I have everything I need to carry just about EVERYTHING I need in one lightweight backpack.

    The plus side? With my screen fully dimmed it is backlit, so I don’t have to strain to see what I am writing when the professor uses PowerPoint slides. Also, with it folded down like a pad of paper, professors can see I am taking notes and not playing World of Warcraft or chatting with friends – so it does wonders for the “laptop bias” that so many professors have.

    With this being said, the iPad is not a game changer to anyone who has ever been a serious inker. In fact, the iPad in my opinion is the worst thing that could happen to the tablet market. There are serious tablet makers out there who will get drowned in Apples marketing, and the tablet most likely will take giant leaps backwards as everyone associates it with the crippled iPad product. (“Why would I want something that can’t multi-task?”) Yes, I have more faith that consumers will blindly buy a brand name rather than do product research, and misjudge an entire market because one product that is not representative will be seen as the idealized product of that market.

    That being said, iPad is NOT a ModBook. It is an oversized iTouch.

    (Yes, I do keep a small folder of paper with pencils and a pencil sharpener in it as backup. Not pens – they explode sometimes or run out of ink at the worst moments, but you can tell when a pencil is about to run out. However, I have only ONCE needed to use this fallback – and a couple of times had to use it because the professor needed us to hand something in on “a piece of paper”… Good grief, when did College become High School Plus???)

  • anon

    me too. :)

    i’m a programmer by trade, but i still don’t understand how people create inefficiencies by using computers or electronics for things that can easily be done with pen & paper (and brain memory & hand).

  • Chris

    In the business (and Not for profit) world I use the Livescribe to record important meetings. It is a life saver and I recommend that students get used to using such technology. In a few years you will start losing brain cells and lose your photographic memory, and forget important details that didn’t seem so important at the time.

  • Herbert

    A boy in front of me in Economics took notes on his computer. Given how diagram-heavy the class was, I never understood how he did it until one day I noticed that he would look up the diagrams in Google Images and imports them into the notes document. I thought it was very clever. But I needed the mechanical reinforcement to be able to remember then.

    In middle school I had a palm pilot and would take notes using Graffiti. I could use it as fast as normal writing, and could switch off to the graphics program to draw diagrams if needed. I haven’t had one in years though. I don’t even think Palm uses Graffiti now – everything is mini-Qwerty. I’m not sure why. It was a great system.

  • niteriderxp

    I think both ways have their advantages and disadvantages.

    For my Calculus classes I exclusively used pen and paper. It’s simply to hard to type out the various symbols used in these classes. Not to mention the graphs and diagrams…

    For liberal arts classes (e.g. history, political science, English, Business) I exclusively used my laptop. Mainly because these classes were text heavy. My penmanship is horrid and extremely slow. My typing on the other hand is relatively fast and accurate, roughly 50-60WPM. Coupling that with proper formatting, organization, and shorthand allowed me to take usable notes that I could actually use to study from later.

    For my CS classes, thing were a bit different… For professors that provided detailed power-points and notes, I would simply listen to the lecture. For professors that provided useless ones, I would take notes with a laptop. For professors that were plain boring, I would browse the web in back of the class or do homework. Thankfully the boring ones usually went by the book…

  • http://thomasns.wordpress.com Nathan

    I just started school last spring. At first I was planing on using my laptop for some notes, but the first thing on my java I syllabus frankly said no outside electronics in class. So I switched to pen and paper. I honestly think I benefited from the experience, and am grateful the professor didn’t let us use electronics for note taking.

  • Chris

    I think that to dismiss any tool completely is foolish. When you work you will find there are people who treat a choice of editor or programming language as a holy decision and when all you have is a hammer, everything else is a set of nails…..

    What do I mean? I can type 80-100 WPM but my writing speed is well below that. In undergrad even as a computer science student you take many classes, including many in social sciences, writing, etc. and for that a laptop would help me to keep up with it. Also my handwriting is messy so when studying it takes longer to review the notes. One argument about writing (I’ve heard from college professors back in 1998-2002 before most people had laptops) is that it forces you to convert the information through your brain into a series of muscle contractions. Well typing does the same thing, you have to convert the information into keystrokes. Is one better than the other, I don’t know. I just review whatever…. Typically if you want to remember something you have to review it. Whether you take notes or type, you are still hearing the lecture and getting the material that way. I think no matter what you are doing the act of taking notes helps you to stay more focused and pay more attention for stuff to jot down. But if you think you will not review it later and remember it all, either you have an edietic (SIC) memory or are in fantasy land.

    So let’s see, assuming you review the material later typing offers the following wins:
    1. You are guaranteed to be able to read the typewritten page, there are no guarantees on handwriting.
    2. If you can type faster than you can write, you can capture more material (this could also be a loss because writing may force you to be more selective…. and hence give you less to review to study so you spend less time reviewing notes when studying because you have less :))

    If you don’t know how to touch type, or are just super slow, then for you maybe writing is better and that is okay. If you are majoring in computer science, I would urge you to go get a typing program and learn how to touch type. It will come in handy for typing those papers and writing those programs. Once you get to 60 or 70 words per minute, I think it would be hard to beat that writing….

    Also here’s where my original statement comes in. You claimed that you couldn’t copy the diagrams. Well why do you have to do all typing or all writing? If all you have is a hammer, everything else is a nail. I would bring a notebook too for drawing diagrams. If you had a tablet you could draw them in the computer (or if you were good with a mouse) but I can’t. So I would pop them in a notebook. Then I’d have the best of both worlds. To get them in the computer they could be scanned later. But even if you leave them in a notebook, there is still a benefit. It would have been easier for me to read typewritten notes and diagrams in my notebook then to read entire handwritten notes.

    Anyway as the song in Watchmen by Bob Dylan goes: “the times they are achanging”. I did my undergrad 1998-2002. Now I am doing my masters degree. The main change is that in almost all of my classes the professors give you powerpoint slides already so you don’t need to worry about taking notes mostly. I still bring a notebook, but I find I don’t add that much to it. When exams come mostly I just review the slides. But anyway some professors just read the powerpoint slides bullet by bullet rather than delivering a lecture…. This is very boring and if I had a netbook/laptop I would go web surfing. Also some people are just geniuses and can multi-task really well. I saw a kid follow the class while he was chatting with someone on MSN and buying jewelry from a shopping site. The professor asked a question and he answered the question and knew exactly where the class was. For someone like that it doesn’t matter.

    But a lot of people do use their laptops to goof off, some work on programs for other classes during the class. I’m sure not paying attention to a Professor’s lecture hurts.

    Anyway thinking back to my undergrad education there were the following classes:

    Math classes
    … quite often everything you had to know was in the book, a nice short section explaining the concept, and a few examples illustrating them. In class you would go over long boring proofs that sure you can copy down. But as for how to solve the problems mostly it is the same as the book, so I just didn’t copy down problems from the board, or I copied them down and did not pay attention. To study for exams I just redid all the homework assigned before the exam.

    Computer Science classes:
    These vary. But a number are “concept” classes where you aren’t doing heavy math. For example a TCP/IP networking class. Mostly you are learning the protocols/message types. And while there are some pictures, a lot of it is concepts. There may be a few equations but mostly it is learning the protocols/models. Some classes are programming intensive, and for them it is probably better to type the code into the computer anyway….if you make formatting mistakes when copying the programs from the board, or can’t read something it may result in the program not working….. Also many of the equations are easy. ie amount of data / time to transfer it = transfer rate. For equations with integrals and sigma notation sure write it down…

    general classes:
    things like social sciences, english composition, literature, etc… basically mostly this is just listening to the lecture, and taking notes so the faster the better….

    So anyway I’d say for some people maybe notes are better than a laptop or a laptop is better than notes. But to totally dismiss a tool is stupid. If nothing else, by copying the source code examples into a laptop, you just need to cut and paste them later to run them, rather then typing them in again from your notes. As you are a computer major, I’d say it is in your best interest to improve your typing skills anyway. Once they improve you will be able to type faster. Finally, for pictures and stuff it helps to have a notepad to copy them in. Then they can be scanned, or just used from the paper in conjunction with your notes. (you could print your notes and then put your diagrams on paper with them…but don’t tell the trees I suggested this…….).

    But this whole line or reasoning may be getting outdated. As professors go more and more to powerpoint the argument for taking notes becomes irrelevant. And as professors read the powerpoint slides and don’t add anything, the argument for not goofing off on a laptop during class becomes less relevant. If the professor just reads the slides, power up the laptop, read the slides, goof off the whole class, then read the slides before the end, and you just got more value than someone only listening to the lecture even though you goofed off…

    Anyway my bigger concern is that you’ll go into a company and declare VB/Java/C# the answer to every problem. Maybe C#/Java/VB is good for problem A but Perl/Python/Powershell/F#/Lua/Ruby is good for problem B. And maybe LISP/F#/Haskell is good for problem C. And maybe it doesn’t matter what editor everyone else uses. VIM/Vi/Emacs/Visual Studio/Pico/Joe/Jed/NEdit/Eclipse are all fine as long as they get the job done….

  • http://chrispinnock.com Chris P

    I’ve never been able to get away from paper for taking notes. I did Mathematics at University and it would have been near impossible to keep up with a netbook. But even in working life, I still need to carry a paper notebook (a nice moleskin one with a nice fountain pen).

  • Helene

    Livescribe is a nice solution for writing and saving (with text conversion as well) notes.

  • http://chipuni.livejournal.com Chip Uni

    In middle school, I learned a shorthand-like way to write, called “SpeedWriting”. I’ve adapted it over the years, and I still use it regularly.

    It’s almost as fast as typing, and it allows me to copy diagrams, functions, foreign words, anything into my notebook.

    I think I’m one of the few people left who know, and regularly use, a shorthand…

  • Chris S

    I use a laptop for notes, I don’t get distracted in lectures which I like & tend to find myself keeping up no problem, in fact things tend to by typed before they finish writing what they’re saying to the whiteboard themselves.

    Diagrams aren’t too hard, I usually just chuck open a paint file & to draw stuff then copy it in at the end or when you get ahead on the notes

  • Brian Knoblauch

    I’m long out of school… However, I use a tablet for meeting notes. I find a stylus based tablet to be the best of both worlds. You can quickly sketch things out (that you can’t do on a keyboard) and you can easily move things around (unlike a piece of paper where you would have to re-write it).

  • Robert Arvanitis

    Digital has huge storage capacity and (if properly organized) is deeply searchable (think Google).

    Analog is not dependent on transient hardware/sofware to decode (think tape, 5 1/2 inch floppies, 3 1/4 inch disks, zip drives, CDs, and now USB flash drives…)

    Even more important, analog degrades gracefully (Think eroded yet still legible stelae on the Silk Road, versus one-bit-gone-and-you’re-corrupted data files).

  • Roland

    Meh, I use a laptop for notes, and a blank piece of paper for the diagrams. Scan in the diagrams later, and integrate them into the document once you have brought up the scanned image contrast. Looks almost like a tablet output to me…

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  • Alfred

    It depends on types of lecture.

    I found computer notes taking works quite well in business/history/writing/journalism, while it was almost impossible for me to drop notes in notebook in all the engineering courses I have taken.

    Frankly speaking, I consider digital notes taking is *possible* for CS courses.

  • Greg

    To those that prefer pen and paper, but have aching hands:

    When I was in undergrad school nigh unto the Jurassic Age, there were not computers and I was (and still am) an avid note-taker. I still prefer pen (not pencil) and paper notes over computer usage although I type at 70+ words a minute.

    To keep my hands from cramping during long arduous note-taking sessions, I learned early on to use a fountain pen. In the long run, it is much cheaper to use than even the throw-away ball points and it requires almost no pressure on the paper nor tight grip around the pen itself.

    As for speed, it is true I can put more words on the page per minute with the keyboard. However, my wife doubled my speed by introducing me to the Neanderthal age: Gregg shorthand, used in the days before tape recorders entered offices for dictated correspondence.

    I also take selected notes and leave spaces to fill in the details immediately following class.

    I have never been able to find anything better than this system, personally.

  • Perrin

    Look at getting a Livescribe pen, it take notes like a real pen, but will capture both a recording and what you are writing. Buy one from a store that has 30 day no hassle return policy- that was you can try it out. Its very helpful, and you can keep all your notes in digital format along with lectures (voice recording is optional)

  • jazzwhiz

    I type my notes in class. I am a math/physics major. I use latex. I have found that in most cases (particularly when its words or sentences as opposed to equations) I am MUCH FASTER at typing than myself writing, anyone writing around me, or the professor on the chalkboard. I use this time to make up for small amounts of time lost in some equation areas and bigger chunks of time lost for diagrams (current project: Feynman diagrams. ugh). But on the whole you should be able to type quite a bit faster than you write. Maybe you’re just extra fast at writing or a bit out of practice at typing, but most people are this way. Glad to hear you at least gave it a try.

  • http://www.teamjazz.org Cat

    I type around 120-130WPM. I actually type *much* faster than I write. In fact, I frequently transcribe conversations verbatim in meetings and then go back and pull out quotes for my notes.

    Because of my typing speed, my writing has only gotten slower and slower over the years. I was never able to write fast enough to take adequate notes when I was younger. I imagine if I were to take classes today I’d have libraries of notes!

    I’m a lefty, so I take a laptop in with me to meetings and plant a small notepad to my left with a pen on it to supplement with any diagrams, etc. Of course, that setup wouldn’t work in 90% of those combo-classroom desks they have out there that are geared toward righties…

  • http://www.sushimustwrite.com Sushi

    I studied math and French in college and have always taken handwritten notes, in part because writing does help me learn, because there are so many equations and examples in math that writing them is actually faster than typing for me because I’m not completely fluent in LaTeX, and because a laptop in the classroom was a rarity. Honestly, I would have been the odd one out. I also wrote in enough notes in the margins to explain a certain part of a problem that writing them in LaTeX would have been slightly annoying.

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  • speedwriter

    For meetings and the like, I took some time to learn some basic shorthand, and after a while, I could smoke whatever I would be able to type. I can type 90wpm, but for some reason cannot note take anywhere near that speed, but I can write faster than I can note-take-type. I picked up a system called Handywrite (you can google it) and have integrated some bits I got from Gregg.

  • http://www.vidiots.us Bob Kiger

    Get a small unobtrusive point and shoot camera and stealthily aim it at the profs while they are going through “intense” moments of enlightening lectures.

    Than play it back and PrntScrn diagrams… copying them to your post lecture notes when you type them onto your laptop.

    Cordially,
    Bob Kiger
    http://www.videographyblog.com

  • Metricon

    I think taking notes in a philosophy class is best done with a netbook or laptop. You can always record the professor and then go back and check if you missed something during the note taking.

    For a science class however, I think it would be difficult to take notes using a laptop.

  • Metricon

    “waiting to see if the iPad is a game”. You might try one of the many open non-proprietary multitasking internet tablets that will be in the market this year, or are in the market already. The iPad is a single tasking proprietary gadget that lacks a webcam. I have been thinking of the Archos 9 tablet, and I think it can be connected to a keyboard, one of those made or rubber. Here is a link to some of the tablets: http://justpaste.it/16s

  • Metricon

    To take math notes just use a pen and paper. Later go over your notes and using a digital camera photograph them in low resolution, not more that 200 kb per page. After that you can make a pdf file of your notes. You will get something like this:

    http://www.scribd.com/full/6056470?access_key=key-298ghpc4esuhb48uchz8

  • Lindsey

    I get frustrated by the inefficiencies present in both systems, but I’ve recently switched over to mostly netbook notes.

    I recently got an iPod Touch and downloaded the FlashCard Deluxe app. (Note: I have no connection with the app other than my personal use of it.) My method for note-taking is to effectively create flashcards for studying during the class period.

    I listen to the lecture, while devising questions and answers based on the material. I input everything into a Google Docs spreadsheet along with a category tag (useful for lessons on specific topics) and then when class is over, I upload everything onto the associated website. Then, on my iPod, I download all of the cards that I created and have a great, portable review and study guide!

    I just started doing this, as it is the beginning of the new semester so I haven’t seen the results of my retention on tests yet but it feels like it’s working pretty well for me.

    One of the downsides is that quick reference can be difficult, but I love flipping through the “cards” on the bus ride home.. takes about 5 minutes and the information is reinforced.

  • http://mymobile88.com Ed

    I agree with Bob Kiger. It is so cool to snap away diagram or notes on the board using any camera phone. Just have to make sure turn off the shutter sound effect before taking any pictures but then there is risk of not enough memory.

  • ben

    I have ADHD, so my brain might be wired a little differently from most, but if I attempt to write something by hand, I completely lose track of the professor. Interestingly, though, I can type and completely follow along. Needless to say, I tend to type notes when I can.

    The other oddity is that drawing helps me focus. It’s like it keeps me mentally on task because my brain’s actively working, but without taking focus away from the presenter because it uses a separate part of the brain. So when I *do* take paper notes, it’s usually more drawings and doodles than it is words.

  • http://www.1994group.net/blogs/harriet Harriet

    Personally I use a smartpen, so I write with pen and paper, but it also records the audio and can be uploaded to my pc and the internet very easily. One of your other comments refers to it – a Livescribe. I find it really helpful and I’m using it in my current research project, see my recent blog post: ‘Out and about with the Livescribe’:
    http://www.1994group.net/blogs/harriet/?p=78

  • Felicita Wakeman

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  • Suzi Streamyx

    Thanks for the good advice. I’m thinking if you could possibly point me in direction of some more resources?.

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    Hey, i came across your website on digg and i think it’s sweet!

  • Nameless

    I personally can’t stand pen and paper most of the time. I had enough of it in high school-heavy books and notes I couldn’t easily edit, duplicate, or find.

    Then I managed to get a Tablet PC-just an HP TC1100 to start out with. That’s when my suspicions became confirmed-I didn’t want to replace the pen, but the paper. If I just had a good notebook app and digital versions of all my textbooks, I could easily cut down on what I had to carry to class and back (though college was already much better than high school in the respect that I didn’t have to carry six subjects’ worth of big, hardcover textbooks around the whole day).

    It became even more obvious when the college gave me a whole Office 2007 license at no extra cost…including OneNote. I just wrote, and it just recognized it in the background in its original ink form, making it searchable if I felt the need. Everything was saved as I wrote it-no need to keep hitting a save button. I could easily undo, erase, and move things around as needed.

    I had a keyboard, and I am a proficient touch-typist (I even hit 93 WPM once), but I still choose to handwrite all my notes despite the speed penalty. I don’t know why, but I just do. Perhaps it’s because I don’t want to frantically switch between keyboard and Wacom pen whenever I see a math formula, diagram, or other non-plain-text form of information.

    I may not write fast, but I do write very legibly and have no problem reading it. (If I write a letter and am not satisfied with the look, I quickly undo and re-write it.) Conversion to plain text is not necessary for me and even largely defeats the purpose, though OneNote is capable of doing it.

    The Courier concept would’ve been perfect for me-a device distilling my core uses of the Tablet PC into something more compact and hopefully with much better battery life. Unfortunately, it was just that-a concept, one that Microsoft apparently has no intention of delivering. It’s like they want some of their best products (Tablet PC + OneNote) to remain obscure-to the point where people don’t even know about tablet computing attempts prior to the iPad (something not even remotely built for inking)!

  • http://101tutoring.com online tutoring

    Just a quick question, first off great post. Also, do you guys offer guest writing positions?

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