Which Note-Taking App Should You Use? 3 Great Note-Taking Apps for College Students

Portrait of successful business team standing together against wooden wall. Full length image of a group of diverse colleagues standing in an officeNote-taking has come a long way. Gone are the days of writing until your hand aches or using an audio recorder and transcribing. Now that 50 percent of college students use a laptop at least once a week in class, many of them are using note-taking apps and programs to take notes quickly and keep them organized.

Thanks to these programs, keeping up in class, staying organized, and even copying notes from your friends has never been easier. Here’s a comparison of three popular note-taking apps to add to your study routine.

Evernote

Evernote is probably the most well-known note-taking app. In addition to supporting both list and longer-form content creation directly in the app, Evernote is also designed to clip and save content from the web and has well-developed collaboration capabilities.

Device Availability:

Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Web

Note-Taking Options:

Evernote truly does let you keep all your notes in one place. When writing notes directly into the app it offers the usual text formatting tools plus the ability to embed tables, files, and pictures. It also has audio and video recording features. If you’re not working directly within the app from the get go, you can clip information from websites and save it to Evernote or take photos of handwritten notes to upload. You can even save emails to Evernote with some plans (sadly not the free plan).

The clipped content feature is particularly handy and an available browser plugin means you can work from your favorite browser, not just the app. When you’re trying to pull an article into Evernote you have options to eliminate the ads, capture just the text and graphics without the layout or videos, capture the full page, save only a bookmark to the page, or take a screenshot of the page. You can annotate the clipped content with text, highlights, and arrows to easily add your own notes. And best of all, the content is live – you can copy, paste, edit, and reformat it.

Collaboration:

Evernote also makes it easy to share and collaborate on notes and projects with your peers. Message back and forth within the app to get the missing parts and pieces you need. You’ll also be able to see real time changes to any of the documents so you don’t overwrite or duplicate work. Whether you’re working on organizing a team To-Do list for a project or sharing your research notes, Evernote can handle a broad range of collaboration needs.

This feature is also particularly helpful if you miss class and need to get notes from a friend. They can simply send you the digital notes via Evernote.

Organization:

All your notes are visible in a single pane, but Evernote offers two ways to catalog and organize individual notes – Notebooks and Tags. You can create and name your own custom notebooks and tags to organize your notes any way you’d like.

Each note can live in only one notebook, but can have multiple tags (up to 100 per note). You can then find your notes in all three views: notes, notebooks, and tags – all of which are individually searchable. Tags are also organized alphabetically so you can add as many tags to your Evernote app as you want without getting completely overwhelmed.

The best application for this organizational structure would be to create a notebook for each class (be sure you add your new notes to the right notebook!) and add multiple tags to your notes. For instance, you can tag notes with a particular project, by topic, by media type (articles, class notes, video, audio, etc.), and with helpful reminders of when you might need that note (homework, to-do, finals).

Storage:

Evernote syncs with cloud storage, meaning you’ll still have your notes when you jump between devices. Different levels of storage are available with the three different plans. The Basic plan allows for notes up to 25MB and 60MB of monthly uploads. The Premium plan supports notes up to 200MB and 10GB of monthly uploads. A Plus plan falls somewhere in between.

Cost:

Evernote Basic is free but does have a limited number of features. Plus is $24.99 per year and includes a few of the features you’re most likely to miss with the free plan. For power users, the Premium plan costs $49.99 a year.

 

OneNote

Group of college students with laptop computerOneNote, part of the Microsoft suite of online tools, functions like a basic word processor but organizes as if you were writing in a divided spiral notebook. It has a lot of the same note taking features as Evernote, with the added benefit of also boosting most of Microsoft Word’s features.

Device Availability:

Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Web

Note-Taking Options:

You take notes in OneNote just like you’d type in Microsoft Word – which diminishes the learning curve. In additional to typing in your notes, you can also make and insert audio and video recordings, include images, and embed spreadsheets and tables. One of the nicest things about working in OneNote is that it auto saves your work as you go – a feature that anyone who has ever forgotten to hit Save is sure to appreciate.

If you need to upload handwritten notes, no need to sit down and type them all. OneNote allows you to take a photo of the notes with your mobile device and upload it as an image. To make sure the notes are legible, Microsoft offers a companion app called Microsoft Lens.

OneNote also supports clipping content from the web and allows you to add your own annotations or edits. When clipping the webpage, you can select the area you want, leaving out annoying sidebars or ads.

You can even save emails to your OneNote by sending them to your own personal OneNote email address. Emails are saved to a default notebook that you need to select when you set up this feature, so it’s best to create a generic Emails notebook within OneNote. Once the notes are loaded in you can move them as needed.

Collaboration:

You can share your OneNote notebooks with others so they can view, review, and edit your work. Sharing is on a notebook-by-notebook basis, so when you share notes for one class your classmate won’t be able to see the rest of your notebooks or notes.

When you’re sharing your notes, you can choose whether that person can edit or only view your shared document. For extra security, you can also require that the person log into their own OneNote account before they can see what you sent them. If you want to share your notes with someone who doesn’t use OneNote, unchecking the “require sign-in” option will send them a link they can access anyway. The same viewing or editing permission still work in these cases.

Organization:

Documents, notes, and media cannot be stored in OneNote without being assigned to a notebook. Organization is done by setting up notebooks and adding “Sections” to each notebook. While you’ll need a different notebook for each class, the sections make it easy to keep notes for that subject well organized. These sections are organized like tabs, making this app easy-to-use.

Storage:

OneNote is cloud-based, meaning your information syncs among all your devices. Free subscribers are limited to 15GB of space for all Microsoft OneDrive uses (not just OneNote). If you’re an Office 365 subscriber, you can get more space.

Cost:

OneNote is free when you sign up for a free Microsoft OneDrive account.

 

1Writer

1Writer is designed to be a clean, distraction-free mobile note taking app that makes collaboration easy. It’s a fairly tech-advanced app that offers a lot of Markdown and JavaScript features and customizable views to really meet your needs.

Device Availability:

iOS only – particularly iPhone and iPad

Note-Taking Options:

1Writer’s main feature allows you to create and edit plain text or Markdown files directly within the app. This basic feature goes so far as to add a convenient formatting row to your mobile keyboard, making it easy to bold, italicize, and hyperlink text or even drop in an image.

1Writer syncs with Dropbox and iCloud so you can access and edit stored documents. If you’re working offline, your documents will be updated in the cloud once you reconnect to the internet.

As for doing research and taking notes from online sources, 1Writer has an in-app web browser and you can bookmark your favorite sites right in the app. The app can also convert web text to Markdown syntax and allows you to drop the copied text onto a clipboard.

You can also create handy To-Do checklists in the 1Writer app. Additional features – such as Find & Replace – can be added to the basic app by downloading them from the 1Writer website’s “Action Directory” at no extra charge.

Collaboration:

1Writer has a host of built-in sharing features that let you share your work outside of the app. You can generate a sharable link that leads directly to your notes in plain text or PDF form. You can also email notes as plain text, formatted text, or a PDF. Interestingly, you can also turn 1Writer notes or text selections into Evernote notes.

More advanced features let you share using URL scheme or JavaScript text manipulation.

Overall, 1Writer allows more sharing of notes rather than active in-app collaboration between different users.

Organization:

Your notes can be organized in searchable folders and tagged with searchable hashtags (within the text) to help you keep everything neatly organized and easy to find.

Storage:

It’s unclear how much in-app storage 1Writer supports, but it can sync with Dropbox and iCloud, which gives you plenty of options for cloud storage.

Cost:

$4.99 in the Apple App Store.

 

Using Note-Taking Apps

No matter which note-taking app you choose, all of them make keeping up and taking notes fast and simple. Technology can benefit you only if you use it properly, though, and it’s worth noting that studies have shown that writing with pen and paper helps to boost your memory and “ability to retain and understand concepts.” If you have a particularly challenging class, you may want to switch between handwriting and your note-taking app so you can retain difficult concepts better. Or opt for a note-taking app that supports uploading handwritten notes so you can keep everything organized while still getting the benefits of hand-writing your notes.

Where these apps do come in handy is in keeping you organized and keeping your notes legible. Sloppy or slow handwriting, misplaced or disorganized notebooks, and running out of ink aren’t problems anymore thanks to note-taking apps. Simply turn on, type, and you’re set!

Money, Elections, and Government

Washington DC skyline view with Lincoln Memorial, Washington

Washington DC skyline view with Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and US Capitol Building at night

Are you curious about how elections work in the US and how they impact our economy? For example, did you know that the real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) generally increases 24 months prior to an election and falls 21 months after?

We are excited to share an exciting opportunity with you for the Fall 2016 semester: a learning community between ECO 201, Principles of Macroeconomics and POS 111, American Government focused on the Presidential Elections.

While enrolled in these learning community-specific courses, you will learn about how the US government and the US economy works, specifically during and surrounding this election season. You will research and discuss public opinion and citizen participation, political parties, interest groups, the electoral process, and the structure and functions of the national government in POS 111, while you explore the interrelationships among household, business, and government sectors, saving and investment decisions, unemployment, inflation, national income accounting, taxing and spending policies, the limits of the market and government, public choice theory, the Federal Reserve System, money and banking, and international trade in ECO 201.

Wondering how those big campaign budgets impact the economy or why there is so much debate about the next Supreme Court Justice and who gets to appoint the justices? This learning community will allow you to really scrutinize how our government and our economy are interrelated.

Are you ready to delve into the realm of politics and elections? All you have to do to take these linked courses is enroll in ECO 201, section 301, CRN 24621 and POS 111, section 301, CRN 24690.

Some key points to consider include:

  • You must enroll in both classes at the same time.
  • Classes meet on Monday/Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
  • Both classes are in a hybrid format, which means they share a class time slot.
  • Hybrid also means that half the course work is completed outside class…much of this is online.
  • You will receive separate grades for ECO 201 and POS 111 and are expected to do all of the coursework for both classes.

If you have any questions, please contact Mary Carr – Chair, Department of Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, and Sociology or Tami Bertelsen – Economics Department Lead.

Advance Your Career with Data Analytics

Do you want a rewarding career in a growing field? Data analytics has become the lifeblood of business in healthcare. Healthcare leaders are looking for more and better ways to wrangle the voluminous amounts of data available to them and pull out only the information they need.

So what does this mean for you? Arapahoe Community College now offers a Healthcare Data Analytics Certificate, designed by industry professionals. By pursuing this certificate you will learn the skills required to acquire, manage, analyze, interpret, and transform data into accurate, consistent and timely information all while balancing the big picture.

Do you have an Allied Health Associate degree from a regionally accredited college or university, or have at least two years of healthcare related work experience? Do you have a knack for and interest in mathematics and statistics? Then this might be the certificate for you! By enrolling in this certificate program you will learn how to utilize Tableau, a program that allows you to create and share data insights across your company in minutes, and apply this program to real world situations. Tableau quickly connects to your data and will help you visualize it working seamlessly with spreadsheets and databases.

Healthcare Date Analytics sample

Healthcare Date Analytics sample

Upon completion of the Data Analytics Certificate you will be prepared to sit for the Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA) exam. By earning the CHDA designation, you will achieve recognition of your expertise in health data analysis and be validated for your mastery of this domain. CHDA-credentialed professionals exhibit broad organizational knowledge and the ability to communicate with individuals and groups at multiple levels, both internal and external.

Begin your journey today by applying to ACC online. Once you apply to Arapahoe Community College, contact Jenny Lammers to express your interest.

Jenny Lammers
303-797-5842
jennifer.lammers@arapahoe.edu

 

 

Fermentation Science Program on Tap for Fall 2016

Biology faculty Jessica Blatecky with homemade kombucha

Biology faculty Jessica Blatecky with homemade kombucha

Beginning in Fall 2016, ACC students will have the option to enroll in a new Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Fermentation Sciences. The program launches with its first fermentation-specific course, FER 101: Craft Beer Brewing.

Colorado continues to be at the forefront of the craft beer industry, ranking first in the country in terms of economic impact per capita (Brewers Association). A report conducted by the CU Leads School of Business notes a 178 percent growth in the number of breweries in the state since the recession ended in 2009.  This 2014 report further explains, “Craft breweries, and especially brewpubs, are inherently labor intensive, making the economic impacts fundamentally local.”

Indeed, as the brewing market has grown in Colorado, so has the industry’s demand for well-educated professionals who are knowledgeable in the field.  The malting process, the selection and management of yeast, the hop products, and the various possible sources of contamination – it’s all very science intensive, and the quality and consistency of a product is dependent on accurately implementing this science.

To ensure that graduates from ACC’s new associates program have a foundational understanding of such processes, the degree includes basic coursework in biology, chemistry, and physics. The two fermentation-specific courses are designed with direct, practical application in mind. There are also no science prerequisites for the two fermentation-specific courses, so anyone who is driven to learn about the science and art behind fermenting is encouraged to enroll.

“So…a degree in beer?!” you ask. Not quite!

Fermentation refers to a metabolic process through which yeasts or bacteria convert carbohydrates to alcohol and carbon dioxide. While beer, wine, and liquors are all made through fermentation, the process is not limited to making libations.

The list of food products made through fermentation processes is extensive and includes: cheese, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, tempeh, kimchi, sauerkraut, and other pickled vegetables. Many such products are chock-full of probiotics, or good bacteria. Due to the widely- publicized benefits of probiotics on gut health and physical well-being, there has been a tremendous spike in the consumption of fermented products.

Take kombucha, as one example of the growth in these “functional foods.” Who would have thought we’d see the day when a bacteria-and-yeast fermented tea would be commonplace in your typical grocer?!  According to a 2015 market report, there was a nearly fivefold increase in global kombucha sales from 2013 to 2015, to about $600 million a year. Sales are projected to hit $1.8 billion by 2020 (MicroMarket Monitor, 2015). This is a trend that far exceeds that established by your typical fad diet!

Students who fulfill the requirements for the A.S. degree and wish to further their education will be eligible to transfer to Colorado State University’s B.S. in Fermentation Science and Technology program.

Those not interested in pursuing an associates degree may opt to enroll in an individual fermentation course with their own personal development in mind.  If you have an interest in the health benefits of fermented food products, or have ever wanted to learn how to prepare your own kombucha or yogurts at home, then FER 203: Fermented Foods Sciences would be a perfect fit.

Maybe you’d like to learn how to better your home-brewing techniques or simply wish to gain a deeper appreciation for the expansive variety of beer styles and the different ingredients and processes that lead to this diversity.  If that’s you, then we hope you’ll join us for FER 101 this fall.  We are excited to have partnered with Breckenridge Brewery and have some field trips in store to their impressive facility just down the street!

by Jessica Blatecky, Biology Faculty