I have a confession—I stink at taking good notes! I usually try to furiously scribble every single word, and my handwriting isn’t great, especially if I’m in a hurry. And despite what people might think about librarians, not all of us are organized! Because of this, I’ve been trying to hunt down some better notetaking options and have stumbled across several really cool alternatives. Here are a few:
Paper with a Twist:
These are seemingly standard notebooks that have unique, techy twists that could potentially improve your notetaking experience—or at least give you a digital version to help with access and organization. As a bonus, some of them are reusable!
- Moleskine Smart Writing Set – Already well known for their sturdy notebooks, Moleskine has upped the classic notebook with dots to help the pen (included with the set) pick up what is being written. The pen records your notes as you go (up to about 1,000 pages can be stored). Using an app, you can modify and save as needed.
- Rocketbook – This brand has several different types/styles of notebook, but they all include a notebook filled with reusable polyester composite “paper.” Many are set up for easy sharing and imaging with dotted paper and a QR code on the bottom corner. You can use any pen style as long as it’s available within the Pilot FriXion line.
- Wacom Bamboo Slate/Folio – The Bamboo Slate and Folio both use a standard notepad on a pressure sensitive clipboard style pad that tracks your movements, allowing for quick transfer of your written notes to a digital format, and there are even options to change your handwritten notes to generic text.
Definitely Not Paper:
- iPad, Microsoft Surface, and Samsung Galaxy Tab – All three offer excellent handwritten notetaking options when paired with the device’s respective writing utensil (like the Apple Pencil). You can take and store notes digitally using specific apps and/or cloud storage options. In fact, many tablets allow for this kind of notetaking as long as you have the necessary “pen” or stylus.
- reMarkable – A tablet made just for notetaking and drawing (pretty much)! Users can easily save, transfer, and share documents and easily swap handwritten notes for generic text. The tablet writing surface is not backlit, nor does it have a plain glass feel, instead writing on it with the brand’s pen feels a lot like writing on a piece of paper.
If you would like to learn some ways to improve your notetaking skills, the Library is here to help! We’ve got plenty of online resources that can help. Check out online courses in speed writing, notetaking, and more from Universal Class, Lynda.com, and Learning Express Library!
Consumer Technology Specialist