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Best note-taking apps for PA school?

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Hey everyone about to enter didactic year of PA school. Was wondering what apps you guys have found useful for taking notes during lecture (I have a Macbook). Or do you prefer using pen and paper? Thanks!

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I used OpenOffice on my MacBook, but I'm old school and can type ~100 wpm.  Never needed to draw--relied on the powerpoint handouts for figures and stuff, so I just used a straight word processor.

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I use notability mostly on my iPad but it may also be available as an app on MacBook. You will just get tons and tons of powerpoints and its easier and quicker to use something like notability to add little notes to the slides and highlight important things rather than pen/ paper or using a word processor.

 

Others may have better suggestions though. I'm entering my 3rd semester of didactic next week and can use all the help I can get .

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I agree with radioman. I used notability this past semester and loved it. You can buy it on your Macbook (I had a classmate who has it on his iPad and MacBook and it would automatically update both to have the most recent information that was added, however they both cost money, less than $10 total).

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I use notability mostly on my iPad but it may also be available as an app on MacBook. You will just get tons and tons of powerpoints and its easier and quicker to use something like notability to add little notes to the slides and highlight important things rather than pen/ paper or using a word processor.

 

Others may have better suggestions though. I'm entering my 3rd semester of didactic next week and can use all the help I can get .

 

 

I agree with radioman. I used notability this past semester and loved it. You can buy it on your Macbook (I had a classmate who has it on his iPad and MacBook and it would automatically update both to have the most recent information that was added, however they both cost money, less than $10 total).

 

I don't currently have an iPad but was considering buying one just for Notability. Did you guys find that you were able to take notes efficiently on a tablet or would it be better to type out notes on a laptop underneath of a Powerpoint?

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We would cover over a hundred slides often in a 2 hour lecture so the best you can hope for in class may be to highlight and just type in key things they focus on. Many of the classes such as patho, phys, and gross anatomy movie at such a rapid pace that there's no way you would be able to type out much in the way of notes, you would quickly be 20 slides behind the professor!

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I will also add that as of lately I have been using quizlet to make questions from the notes nearly every day and have had a lot of success with that. I retain a lot by making up questions as well as studying from the flash cards and playing the little matching games when I finish with them

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My entire class also uses notability with iPads since we get them through the program. The notes automatically sync to google drive so you can access them on any device. I love it since I can't imagine printing off thousands of PowerPoint slides and keeping them organized. I find it easiest to type notes on the power points but a good chunk of the class also hand writes notes with a stylus on the slides so it's really personal preference.

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My entire class also uses notability with iPads since we get them through the program. The notes automatically sync to google drive so you can access them on any device. I love it since I can't imagine printing off thousands of PowerPoint slides and keeping them organized. I find it easiest to type notes on the power points but a good chunk of the class also hand writes notes with a stylus on the slides so it's really personal preference.

When you type notes with notability do you use the iPad's on screen keyboard or an external keyboard? My fear about getting the iPad is not being able to jot down notes quickly enough with a stylus.

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Surface pro 3. Just write on the ppt office app. Doesn't get better than 13" screen with full writing capabilities. I also have most of my books PDF on my surface pro as well so everything I need is with me in one device.

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I had an external keyboard for my iPad. You can use notability on your MacBook also so you don't need an iPad for the program. Notability is nice though because you can type directly on the powerpoints. I found it helpful on the iPad because I could highlight things quickly on the slides that teachers made an emphasis on.

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I used the Livescribe pen for all my prerequisites and it saved my life. Do you think any program minds using a device like this? It records the audio while you're taking notes. I was planning to use it in PA school because I tried taking notes with a stylus and typing but found both pretty tedious.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Probably the best feature of notability is the ability to record the lecture and quickly return to part of the lecture that was important or where you didn't get all of the notes in class later on when you are studying.  Professors may not mind you recording lectures, but it is best if you ask first IMHO.

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Two strategies I recommend: 1) set up an excel or google docs spreadsheet with four columns: 1. Disease and etiology, 2. Work up, 3. Treatment, 4. Misc & Key Points.  Copy and paste the powerpoint and re-arrange it into this format.  I didn't add much to this unless the speaker pointed out something that seemed very important, then it got a couple **'s by it.  Or 2) don't take notes, just pay attention in class.  Then review the powerpoint or excel sheet, then off to the books and self-quizzes.

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I used the Livescribe pen for all my prerequisites and it saved my life. Do you think any program minds using a device like this? It records the audio while you're taking notes. I was planning to use it in PA school because I tried taking notes with a stylus and typing but found both pretty tedious. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

The audio from our classes is automatically recorded and uploaded to blackboard each day. Not sure to what extent other schools/programs do this or not but you may want to make sure this isn't an option before you go out and buy anything or request permission to record on your own.

 

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I took very little handwritten notes; mostly used OneNote. Also, I read through the text and highlighted the main points, then went back to the highlighted sections and studied those parts. Someone mentioned making an excel doc with disease diagnosis, treatment etc. I did this as well which should hopefully help with PANCE topics. 

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When you type notes with notability do you use the iPad's on screen keyboard or an external keyboard? My fear about getting the iPad is not being able to jot down notes quickly enough with a stylus.

I use a belkin keyboard case combo and it's great. I can't imagine just using the screen keyboard since you'd have to look the whole time. And because we are given all the powerpoints or PDFs before there really isn't a ton of note taking to be done so writing notes with a stylus seems to work fine for people as well, just personal preference:)

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In my class, we recorded everything with digital voice recorders, then uploaded it to a private website to share amongst ourselves....and of course well all made summaries and highlights and shared amongst each other too. class unity is invaluable.

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A lot of people use notability on their iPads. I don't have an iPad so I can't do it- but it makes me wish I had one because it looks super easy. On my macbook I use Microsoft OneNote and I like it. my favorite thing about it is that I have the app on my phone also and it automatically syncs it so that I can look at notes on my phone that I took on my macbook without doing anything special. But I generally reserve it more for doing all the objectives from our syllabus. While in class I generally just use preview on mac and take notes with it and highlight stuff. 

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I have a connection between written notes and my brain.

I can tell you what color I wrote in and what part of the page it is on.

If I write it - it has a permanent place in my brain.

 

25 yrs in, I came from the days of xrays on actual film and paper charts the size of phone books and written notes or a transcriptionist.

 

I still firmly believe in pen and paper......complete w doodles, to-do lists and the occasional coca cola stain.....

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I'd say Notability is the best one out there. I used EverNote and its not as organized, IMO. I re-type all my notes (mostly copy-paste) and put them in a table format, print them out, and write notes on them as I study them. This is so I have a hard copy and I have my Notability notes on my iPad. You have to find what works best for you

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