Note taking tools

The first group of tools that can help when writing notes are specialized complex services such as Evernote and OneNote. Both allow you to write notes in them and enter them in documents across various devices. If you decide to use them, we definitely recommend a combination of the mobile and desktop application. In order for such a note-taking system to work, you have to find a collection of approaches that suits you. There’s no sense in choosing a tool that has a lot of functions but is slow and you don’t use it much. On the contrary, look for something that feels right to you.  

Evernote is probably the most traditional tool for working with notes and also offers a nice online version. Individual notes are organized into folders and can be accompanied by tags, which allow for subsequent searches. You can connect files, photos or even voice comments to each note. Folders with notes can then be shared among other users, so it’s good for writing notes for school or required reading. Web Clipper is an indispensible tool that allows you to add parts of web pages into your notes – these can be text excerpts, links or other parts of a web page. A description, tag or heading can be added to these excerpts, and you can draw in them or mark something that’s important. The disadvantage is that many of the interesting functions are paid services.  

Something that Evernote is great at is scanning documents – it can recognize text on a page or align, crop or adjust a page. Then you can add your own notes from what you’ve read into this image or simply save it.  

OneNote will interest those who are used to working with MS Office and are looking for a free tool. It has a special mode for school work, which makes it possible to share notes in a classroom or invite a teacher to edit them, allowing the whole system to be used as online worksheets for shared work. In place of regular text notes, you work with an empty surface that you can fill with anything – text, images, a thought map, or table, or you can take a photo of the whiteboard or record the teacher’s instruction there. Here it’s also good to use the tool for excerpts from the web. It’s also possible to sort notes into folders in OneNote, making it easy to set up who sees what and how.  

The advantage here is the large degree of freedom in how the notes are organized, the opportunity to work creatively with the structure of your notes, and good integration with Windows and other mobile platforms. One disadvantage is its limited search within notes.  

Other tools like ZIM, Simplenote in Apple Notes, or Dropbox Paper can also be used.  

If you run into something interesting on the internet but don’t have time to read or look at it, save the link for later in GetPocket or another tool. Source: KISK. 

Read it later 

An interesting group of tools are called “read it later” apps, which allow you either to save interesting things to read at a later time or come back to them. A disadvantage compared to web clippers linked with note-taking systems is that they only keep the current link to a page, and when it changes, it changes in the system as well. The advantage is speed and comfort. If you have dozens of unsorted bookmarks in your browser, these tools can help you.  

  • Raindrop.io is an application that offers a very complex but well-designed environment for sorting bookmarks of various kinds. You can add commentaries to them, sort them into folders, share, and search through them. The disadvantage is payment for more advanced functions.  
  • Tagpacker is a tool that relies primarily on minimalism and free use. Its goal is to make work with bookmarks generally easier and better; links can be tagged and then easily filtered or sorted. It also naturally offers a sharing option.  
  • Paperspan is a less known tool that focuses on the consumption of sorted content. It allows you to follow your reading process, transcribes articles into audio (this works fairly well in English), and works very elaborately with the reading environment.  
  • GetPocket is one of the oldest and most well-known tools. Aside from managing links that you can tag and sort into various folders, it also has nice connectivity with other services via IFTTT, so selected comments can end automatically on your blog with relevant tags. It can also find and recommend content that’s similar to what you’re reading at the moment. 

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