When we’re studying or conducting a project using a large amount of information we need somewhere to store the information. Sometimes our everyday household chores also need arranging. In the pre-computer age we relied on notes written down on a piece of paper or in a notebook. Nowadays the volume of information has increased considerably, leaving little or no time to write it all down. After all, it’s much easier to just copy something of interest that you have found on the internet or received via e-mail and save it where you need it rather than wasting time writing it out by hand. It’s even better if we can read the information we’ve stored on a computer or smartphone on other devices. And what about being able to instantaneously share this information with colleagues or friends?
Let’s take a look at the three most popular applications designed for taking notes.
Google Keep. This is a free note taking application developed by Google that has replaced the “Notepad” project. The concept is quite simple: each note is created on a single “sheet”. When opening Google Keep, the user can see all notes at once. To avoid any confusion if there are lots of notes, they can be marked with labels or colors. In terms of ergonomics it’s not the most logical, but not a bad option. This cross-platform app supports all popular mobile and desktop platforms. For the latter, it is an extension of Google Chrome, without which it would not run. A Google account is required to synchronize notes across multiple devices. Users can create a text note, a voice message, a note with a photo or an image, a reminder, etc. The mobile version has an image editor. This tool is designed primarily for mobile users, offering only basic functionality for desktop versions.
Microsoft OneNote.This application for note taking is included in the MS Office package. Although it is described as free, synchronization requires an account and subscription to Office 365. OneNote is a powerful tool which combines all the useful and most popular Microsoft Office functions: a word processor with Word tools, the ability to create tables and insert graphical elements, send emails and create audio notes. OneNote saves information in pages organized into sections within notebooks. As a result, the user gets a very handy three-level data storage. In addition, similar sections can be grouped. On the downside, the ergonomics are poor when creating or searching. But if you want to systematize a large volume of information, OneNote is the best choice as it allows you to do so in great detail. Moreover, individual records or entire notebooks can be either password protected, or conversely can be shared.
Evernote. This is the most famous and most functional tool for creating and storing notes. Until recently, it was the most popular note taking application, but functional overload began to affect the user experience and users have started paying more attention to other products. To make matters worse, the developers have moved some functions to the paid version, for example, the local storage of notebooks, the clipper to automatically save information from the browser, detection and storage of business cards, and saving a note sent to a unique e-mail address. However, for teamwork it is the most suitable note taking application. In addition to shared notebooks, it integrates a chat in which you can discuss work issues related to a specific topic. A carefully designed interface makes it easy to work with information while the system of tags and notebooks grouped by topics significantly simplifies the daily use of Evernote.
All three services have their own advantages, and each has it fans among users. Some want a service that is free and as simple as possible, while some are willing to pay for additional features. In any case, you get a high quality service for processing your information. However, if you are still studying, it might be better to rely on a handwritten record to organize and get a clear understanding of all your accumulated material. Take time to write down everything you need in a dedicated notebook. This will allow you to get a more in-depth understanding of your material, to get to the main points, to identify some of the nuances you failed to catch during the lecture. Besides, it’s a great exercise for your memory. After writing things down on paper we subconsciously remember it.