It is easier to start paperless than transitioning later
I went paperless in 2016. It felt good, but it was a massive pain. Caught up in the excitement of my newly discovered paperless world, I threw away all my paper study notes. A very stupid move on my part.
Smarter people scan their notes before throwing them away – something I should have done when I went paperless. But, whether you scan your paper notes or throw them away without scanning, transitioning from using paper later is harder than just starting paperless at the beginning of your course.
A cleaner desk
I love my notes colourful and exciting. To achieve that on paper requires a lot of stationery. That usually means a messy desk half the time. Going paperless makes your study desk ten times cleaner and saves you hours of tidying up. Besides, the cleaner your desk, the more productive you are.
Digital stationery is more convenient
You can buy it from the comfort of your home. No more stationery shopping for new pens, notebooks or highlighters every semester. This was my first time entering a stationery shop in three years. I did it just to shoot this video.
A one-time payment for a decent note-taking app is all you need for your entire course; your entire life. Digital planners and notebooks are reusable. Most note-taking apps have many template papers to use in your notes (so you won’t need to purchase notebooks). I certainly don’t.
It is relatively affordable to go paperless
Apple introduced cheaper iPads for students. I highly recommend the iPad because it has a wider variety of handwriting note-taking apps than Android and Windows. It is therefore much easier for you to go paperless using an iPad than it would be with a Surface Pro or a Samsung Tab S6.
Starting from as little as $600, you will not enter a stationery shop for the rest of your college life. $600 will get you the iPad 2018 (the cheapest option you can go for). It will also get you the Apple Pencil, some accessories and note-taking apps.
A lighter backpack
This is especially important for science students. Our textbooks are heavy and huge; very uncomfortable to carry around. Though most of us take pride in carrying those tonnes around. Imagine having all those textbooks on one device!
Easily access your notes from anywhere
No more going back to pick up that notebook you forgot on your study desk. All your notes are on one device and backed up in the cloud unless you forget your iPad. You’ll still be alright if you don’t forget your phone. I have all my notes synced between my iPad and phone.
Things you can’t do on paper but can on digital notes
You can add videos and audio recordings to your digital notes. Which you definitely can’t do on paper. My all-time favourite feature from Notability, my go-to note-taking app, is the audio recording feature. I record all my lectures and classes. The app then animates my notes, synced to my recorded audio when I go through the material later. It gets me excited every single time! After three years (I still can’t get used to it).