I don’t follow a concrete organisation protocol. I just have principles that help me keep everything in the right place. Basically, I use five types of apps:
- A Cloud service for all the lecture material that I get from my professors. I chose Google Drive for this.
- A PDF reader for my textbooks and personal study sessions. I picked LiquidText for that. Find out why I stopped using LiquidText a few years later.
- A note-taking app for my rough notes (the ones I take in class and during lectures). I use Notability. My classes are six hours long and preparing for them is a lot of work that requires an app I can get the most done with the least effort. That app for me is Notability. I write fastest in Notability and the recording feature ensures I don’t miss anything my professors say. Find out why I stopped using Notability in 2021.
- A note-taking app for my final study notes during my personal study time. For this I chose NoteAlways.
- A file manager to store all my notes.
Surgery is a complicated subject and I always find that there is always some information I don’t grasp when preparing for the classes. That makes my professor’s comments and questions very important if I am to get a full picture of what I need to learn. That’s why Notability’s audio recording feature is indispensable for me.
My personal study sessions involved reading and jotting down some rough notes, organising them in a way that makes sense to me. I use different colours for emphasis to highlight difficult terms and important information. Symbols and abbreviations help me learn new concepts faster. I search for some definitions on Google when my notes and textbooks are difficult for me to understand.
By the end of my first week, I had a lot of Surgery rough notes on my iPad. I also got a write-up assignment. I spoke to my professors to ask for permission to do the assignment on my iPad and just print out a copy for him. I didn’t waste my time doing an assignment he’ll want me to redo in traditional ink. Usually, I’d just do it and protest when the professor refuses to mark it, but that requires a lot of energy, which I don’t have at the moment.
When he agreed, I was ecstatic. I didn’t need to go buy paper to do one assignment. Writing assignments on paper is a daunting task these days. My university makes us write assignments on plain white paper. I can’t even write straight sentences without paper guidelines! On the iPad, I can remove the lines on printing.
For assignments that I need to print out, I use Notability’s native pages. I also make sure I use an A4 paper size to get a realistic preview of how my notes will look when I print them. To achieve that in landscape, I use the split view 1:3 ratio to avoid zooming in when writing. When I was done with the assignment, I sent it to a friend for printing. I need to get a printer for my assignments. Seriously.
I change the paper template to plain white for printing. Then I convert it to PDF, Airdrop it to my iPhone and forwarded it to my friend on WhatsApp. She then printed it out for me and gave it to me in class the next day. Sweet human!