The effectiveness of note taking has long been studied and tested as a powerful way to summarize and retain key points. It is a skill that can be applied across all industries, and necessary in almost every occupational role. While the pen and paper method of note taking may be your go-to technique, there are alternatives to move your note taking to another level.
One of the powerful note taking software now available is Microsoft’s OneNote. It is essentially a highly organized, searchable digital notebook. Available as part of the Microsoft Office suite, OneNote is offered as a fully free application for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android systems. With features similar to Word, Excel, and Notepad, OneNote lets multiple users access a shared notebook at the same time. Anytime someone edits the pages and/or sections in the shared notebook, OneNote will automatically synchronize and save the changes so that your notes are always up-to-date. You are also able to store a copy of your notes locally if you are working on the go with limited network connection. When a connection becomes available, OneNote will automatically merge the changes made. Another beneficial feature of OneNote is its ability to take any text within an image (e.g. a receipt, or business card) and make the text within that image searchable within a saved notebook.
Password protected sections is also a valuable feature of OneNote. By enforcing a password to be used, you are able to control what is accessible when collaborating with others. Best known for its powerful and flexible formatting capabilities, OneNote stands apart from the competition with its visual organization–ideal for creating large amount of content.
Evernote is another note taking software that one can utilize to ensure text, images and documents are always close by. Just like OneNote, Evernote is also available on every device and offers many of the same capabilities. Evernote’s strengths lie in its database likeness. You can filter your notes and tags, which makes collecting information and retrieving much easier. Evernote’s web clipper also has advanced capabilities. Its web clipper allows you to bookmark, screenshot, keep just the text of a webpage, and edit the text of a webpage.
Perhaps the most compelling features of either of these programs is its ability to capture content by its handwriting recognition tool and its optical character recognition (OCR) capacity. For times when typing may be deemed inappropriate, cumbersome or distracting, using a stylus with your iPad, or Surface Pro will quickly make note taking during a meeting or interview just as easy as using a pen and paper only much more efficient and effective.
For those who are looking to speed up work methods, or are making the effort to go paperless, having a dependable and adaptable method to keep track of notes, documents and files is key. With software like OneNote and Evernote, ditching the pen and paper and picking up a mobile device and stylus may be the way to go. Organization, and consolidation has never been more efficient.