How I take digital lecture notes on my iPad

Before the lecture begins

I use indexed digital notebooks for all my lecture notes. While waiting for the professor, I fill-in my lecture’s topic (usually just a date) on the contents page of my indexed notebook. I then go to the hyperlinked title page to write the topic again.

When we have handouts, I scan and add them to my notebook. In Notability, I can import documents to the currently opened notebook. The imported files go to the end of the notebook. I move my title page down to the end for better organisation

During the lecture

I use Notability for all my lecture notes because I love the audio recording in the app. I am a slow note-taker, I can’t keep up. Notability lets me write down only the key points to catalogue the audio recordings. I am not trying to get everything the professor is saying. I write just enough to stay alert.

I take rough notes during lectures. They don’t make sense half the time, but the audio recordings do. The notes are messy and everything is all over the place.

After the lecture

During my personal study sessions and during class, I modify the lecture notes in different ink. I usually use blue for my personal study modifications and red for useful explanations (from my professors) during class. My lecture notes are always in black ink.

I later use my incoherent rough notes and my recordings to create final study notes.

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