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The Digital Student

How to make the best notes

How take the best notesundefined

You have so many methods of note taking available to you.

  • Traditional paper and pen note taking. 
  • Audio recording your lectures (not strictly speaking note taking but a different option). 
  • Digital note taking using OneNote.
  • A hybrid method of all three!

If you want advice on how to take notes then you might like our guide to note taking.


Paper and pen

Paper and pen vs digital

This can be seen as the traditional method for taking notes. obvious advantages are that it is pretty low tech and can be done anywhere but there are some drawbacks. If you have a lots of notes then will start to amass lots of paper. For many people this can be both hard to organise and cumbersome to carry around. so what are the advantages of going digital?

  • if your notes are on OneNote and linked to your OneDrive you can access you notes anywhere you can access the internet and you iPad. No more heavy bags full of paper notebooks!
  • digital notes can be amended as many times as you like, no more scruffy notes with lots of errors and crossing out!
  • you can keyword search your own notes. Have you ever been in a situation where you have a vague memory of something you lecturer had said in a past session? With paper notes you would have to manually read through them all, but if your notes are digital you can search through all your notes instantly. In OneNote you can search your notes at any time by clicking on the spyglass.



Other digital methods

Alternative options

Reviewing lectures

Many of your lectures may now be recorded using panopto for you to rewatch. These will be made available through your Blackboard module. 


Audio recording

There are two scenarios where audio recording might be a great option.

  1.  You might chose to record the audio from your lectures so you can listen back to them later.
  2.  You might want to augment your own written notes with you own audio recording. You can add your own short audio summary of any new concepts learned after a lecture, then add it to your OneNote classbook. 

Here a is short video of how to add audio clips to you notes using OneNote.