There's An App For That - Note Taking

As a college student, you're going to be taking hundreds of pages of notes. Yes, the paper-and-pencil method is tried-and-true. But keeping only physical copies of your notes opens you up to the risk of losing or forgetting them in your dorm room, and it limits what you can do with them. Digital note-taking apps help you keep track of all your notes, organize them, and make sure you don't lose them. Plus, they make everything searchable, shareable, and editable (no white-out needed).

Google Docs

Google Docs offers the functionality of Microsoft Word in a web app that you can access from any device. Plus, with Google Chrome, you can run Docs offline in your browser. That means even when you're in a class without an internet connection, you can still take notes and have Google sync them with your account once you're connected again.

Google Docs also shines when it comes to collaboration, letting you share notes with others in a few clicks. You can then edit, comment and suggest changes with fellow classmates. It's perfect for when you need to collaborate on a project, but can't all be in the same place all the time.

Google Docs Tips
  • Create a new document for each class session, or create notes for each theme that the class covers so it's easier to find what you're looking for later.
  • Create a folder for each class, and put all your notes and assignments in the folder so you have access to them from everywhere.
  • When you're working on long documents, keep your notes structured with the built-in Table of Contents feature.

Follow this link to access Google Docs.

Evernote app logo.

Evernote & OneNote

Evernote and OneNote are apps designed specifically for note taking. If you're a long-time Microsoft Office user, you should find yourself comfortable in OneNote. But for Google Docs advocates, Evernote might feel more familiar.

Evernote lets you create "notes," which could be text, pictures, voice messages, videos, PDFs, and almost anything else you can save. You can sort those notes into notebooks, create stacks of notebooks that fit a certain theme, and tag notes to organize them into categories. You can even create to-do lists in Evernote to help you, for example, stay on top of reviewing notes for upcoming test dates.

The best feature for amplifying your note taking, though, is Evernote's search capabilities. Just type in whatever you're looking for in the search box, and Evernote shows every related note on that topic—you'll never again have a hard time finding the information for that concept you forgot.

Evernote and OneNote Tips
  • Create a notebook for each class, and then keep all of your class notebooks in one "Classes" notebook stack. Within each notebook, create a new note for each lecture, assignment, and reading.
  • If you're working with a group, consider creating a "shared" notebook so that you all have your notes in one place.
  • Connect your Evernote account to app integration tool Zapier to, for example, add reminders to your calendar.

Follow this link to sign up for Evernote and this link to download OneNote.


Sonocent Audio Notetaker is software for PC or Mac which offers a visual and interactive form of note-taking. Audio recordings are transformed from a single stream of information to easy to interpret colored bars. Audio Notetaker is an ideal piece of assistive technology software to help those who struggle with note-taking.

Each phrase in the recording is split into manageable sections by highlighting the recordings into different colors. These colors can be amended and titled to mean different things for the user. They can also delete, move and edit sections. PowerPoint slides, images, and more can be added into the file and is instantly matched up to the relevant part of audio recording.

Visit Sonocent website for more information. 

Smart Pen

A self-contained ink-pen that is packed with a microphone, speaker and on-board storage, it captures every moment of every interaction – so that you can do what you do miss needed information

Never miss a word, record, and playback everything you write and hear. Then, using a USB cable, transfer your notes and audio to your computer.

Students registered with the Student Accessibility Resources who are approved for this accommodation can check-out a Smartpen. There are a limited number of pens available. Contact our office for more information about the loan agreement.

To learn more about the smartpen, please visit Livescribe Smartpen.

Capti Narrator

Capti Narrator is an award-winning app that offers a new approach to consuming digital content. Use Capti to listen to everything you want to read on the go and at your leisure.

Features in the basic (free) version include:

  • Text to Speech - Turn any text into an audiobook: hands-free and eyes-free.
  • Save for Later - Save documents and web articles for later in your Playlist and access it even offline; synchronize your Playlist and your reading position across all your devices.
  • Sophisticated Navigation - Jump to the next/previous word, sentence, paragraph, heading, page, or a search keyword.
  • Screen Reader Support - Extensively customized for JAWS and NVDA (Windows) and VoiceOver (iPhone, iPad).

Follow this link to download Capti for iPhone and to install Capti on your computer.

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