Note Taking

There are no answers here.


I continue to see articles proclaiming the benefits of taking notes by hand.

Here is the latest from the Wall Street Journal:

Pen and paper

That is all well and good. And truth be told I LOVE taking notes by hand. I love the feel of the pencil/pen and paper. I love that it is easy to come by. It doesn’t take any extra technology to make it work.

The problem is that I am left with the paper afterwards. Inevitably I feel like I have written something down that makes the entire paper worth saving for some unknown period of time.But when I do take a closer look I find that any information it contained is out of date and that it has just been cluttering my desk this whole time.

Another problem is that a single piece of paper is made meaningless when taken out of the context from which it was made.Sure this can be remedied by adding some metadata to the header of the note or keeping a filing system. But that branches out into a madness I am not willing to engage in.

I have dabbled with using Google Docs to keep a typewritten record. And this does show the promise of find-ability (full text search)  But that doesn’t make my writings any less mostly garbage within a certain amount of time. And that is because taking notes is mostly a tool for learning. As you rewrite what you hear you have encoded something slightly more into your brain than if you had just heard it. (Auditory vs. Visual learning)

HP Tablet PC running Windows XP (Tablet PC edition) (2006)

Recently I have had the fortune of being able to use a Surface Pro 4 which comes with a stylus and One Note integration. I have had some success using this to write with, but I haven’t always been able to read what I wrote down when looking at it later on.

I do feel like if I worked at this hard enough there might be use just for a device for learning and then being able to easily dispose of it afterwards. If I could find a method of converting my free text notes into searchable text using some OCR then that might be ideal.

Still the problem comes down to another barrier. A device to be charged and signed in to vs. a piece of paper and a writing device…


More to come, I hope.


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Filed under personal, Undetermined

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