3 Engaging Note-Taking Apps


As a teacher and life-long learner, I take a lot of notes. One of the best changes for me has been taking notes on my iPad because now I often find myself having fun trying to create attractive and useful notes. The note-taking process keeps me amused during meetings and the task keeps me challenged and attentive as I try to draw and explain the ideas being shared.

Here are 3 engaging apps to try to help put a  little fun back into note-taking sessions. 



Live Notes

Live Notes is a colorful note-taking and sketching app that allows for simultaneous audio recording. Draw shapes and doodles during a lecture or meeting. Type text and choose from a variety of fonts and bright colors. Tap parts of a sketch to hear the audio that was recorded at the specific point in time when the sketch was drawn. 

Live Notes is a paid app, but you can try Live Notes Lite for free. 




Note Anytime

Note Anytime is an app for taking notes, sketching, and annotating PDFs. Caligraphy tools support improved letter formation providing assistance with sloppy iPad penmanship.  Use the app to easily import and markup PDFs. Export notes to popular social media sharing sites, like Twitter, Facebook and Drop Box. 




Note Anytime is currently a free app available in iTunes.

ScratchWorks

ScratchWorks is a note-taking app that allows users to take notes on one side of the screen and browse the web on the other. Type text notes or insert a sketch area into the notes for doodling. It also provides a custom math keyboard. 



ScratchWorks is a free app, available in iTunes.

Digital Notes: Combine Readability & Google Docs

One of my favorite tools to share with students and teachers is Readability. This handy bookmarklet tool scrubs webpages clean of distractions by eliminating the ads and creating a more readable version of digital text. By itself, it’s a really useful tool for students, but when combined with Google Docs, it can be part of an effective and efficient method for taking digital notes.



It’s important to note that the strategy offered here is not meant to replace traditional methods of note-taking. Rather, it is meant to be one of many note-taking strategies that can be introduced to students throughout the year as they engage in frequent everyday research experiences. If the goal of research is to find information, use it and properly cite sources, then introducing students to multiple strategies and allowing them to take flexible learning paths will help them become independent researchers and  life long learners. 

Risk Free Ways to Try Digital Notes:

  1. Content related article reviews
  2. Sharing current events
  3. Preparing a script for a podcast or narrated slideshow

The slideshow below provides step-by-step directions for combining Readability with Google Docs to take Digital Notes.

How To Combine Google Docs and Readability for Digital Note-Taking