You may or may not know that all UMass students get access to Microsoft Office 365 for free! Sign up is super simple and can be found here: https://www.umass.edu/it/software/microsoft-office-365-education
Microsoft OneNote is a versatile note taking software that has transformed the way I participate in class and take notes. Maybe it can do the same for you!
Here are some of its features:
- Sync Notes on All Devices – Notes you take in class on your computer can appear on your phone and iPad almost instantly, and the other way around! There is no need to worry about your laptop dying half way through class if you can pull your tablet out and continue right where you left off! To make it better, you don’t even need the app. OneNote has a web browser version as well! Now you can access and add to your notes on ANY device by logging in with your UMass account. Study sessions can happen anywhere at any time.
- Complete worksheets and Syllabi Digitally – I present to you now my favorite feature of Microsoft OneNote: Insert File PrintOut. Any assignments posted on Moodle can be inserted directly into your OneNote notebook, next to your notes, and completed right on your computer. Then you can print out the completed sheet. Or how about putting the class syllabus and assignment schedule right in the front of your digital notes. No more clogging up your downloads folder with ClassSyllabus(8).pdf!
- Hand Write Notes – Many laptops are touch and stylus enabled! Digital notes are often criticized because studies show that hand writing information is a superior way to commit information to memory. If you have a Microsoft Surface, An HP Spectre, A Lenovo ThinkPad or YogaBook, or a bunch of other models, you might be able to hand write notes directly into OneNote!
- Create To-Do Lists Right Next to Today’s Class Notes – Among the one million other ways OneNote lets you format your info is a to-do list. After taking your class notes, make a home work to-do list right where you leave off.
- Share your notes with others – Finally, sharing your notes, to-do lists, work sheets, or even entire notebooks is super easy. You can email specific pages, invite other OneNote Users to collaborate on the same page, and take screenshots and share them quickly, with no hassle!
I was always a traditional pen and paper student until I found Microsoft OneNote. Now all of my notes are taken either by typing or handwriting with my laptop’s stylus, and I can access them quickly on my phone, iPad, or any web browser.