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What do you take notes *in* (not on)

Postbib Yeshuist

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I would get so excited to go back to school just so I could take the annual trip to Staples with my dad.

I always felt exactly the same way! I still have a bad habit of collecting pretty notebooks and then not necessarily using them. I'm also very particular about the pens I use, and have started relying on art-supply stores for those. Heh.

I once did a Moleskine for a calc class but I was so compulsive about being neat that I ended up buying one of those cheapo notebooks, taking class notes in that and then transferring it into the Moleskine. (Sometimes, I am a little anal and it definitely comes out in my class organizational skills!)

Here's another feeling I know! My notebooks are my archives; they need to be tidy and easy to revisit.

Edit: I forgot to post the notebooks I use from Staples, they are great! The paper is so smooth and obviously not Moleskine quality but I like it. They come in a bunch of sizes. They are made from some sort of sugarcane waste.

I have a notepad from that line right here by my computer, and it's lovely! Recommendation seconded.

i second a vote for environotes. some of their notebooks have internal pockets to hang onto syllabi or assignments, so they remain preferable to binders for me.

and even though this thread is about notebooks and not computers, if i'm being honest, i use the computer far more than my notebook. so far, the notebook is only pulled out for an undergrad language class i'm taking and the undergrad lecture i TA for. i use a laptop for all of my grad coursework. i type notes for every book i read and then type in notes from seminar discussions into the same file. it is time-consuming, it is tedious, it slows my reading-rate way down, but it still works for me. in seminar i can scroll or do a keyword search if i'm trying to find a certain note quickly. when i'm writing a paper, particularly end of semester historiography papers that require a synthesis of 14 books, the keyword search function is an absolute life-saver. when the time comes to write my comps, printing out all of my typed notes will be much easier than digging through six semesters' worth of notebooks and trying to decipher my chicken scrawl.

just thought i'd put it out there. it's definitely a slower process at the moment. i can only read 20 pages/hour instead of 30 pages because i constantly stop to type my notes, but the extra time now will save me having to re-read 150 books for comps because half my notes are scribbled in the margins.

That's a really darn good idea!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I use loose-leaf engineering paper in a 3 ring binder. Like others have said, I like the flexibility of loose leaf. If I miss a class for some reason, my anal personality doesn't have to worry about how many pages to skip in a bound notebook for that lecture. I can actually copy someone else's notes with a copy machine and put them in sequence. I can include other materials (such as homework) in sequence with my lecture notes, too.

The reason I use engineering paper is because it's yellow and it's backed with graph paper. The yellow is much easier on the eyes, and the reverse side graph paper is just visible enough to make drawing figures and keeping consistent lines in text easy.

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  • 1 year later...

I'd like to resurrect this thread!

I'd like to add that what I did for my Masters and will probably do for my PhD is to get a large spiral bound notebook which has punched and perforated pages. It is also divided into sections with a pocket at the end of each section for putting handouts in. I then have a large binder for each course and i decant into that, chronologically. I also include copies of all the readings (for Music History courses this was a LOT). Decanting allows me to review my notes casually.

Though I love Moleskine things, I don't think I could ever use a bound notebook for a subject (maybe because I've always done degree with a lot of handouts?). It always reminds me of that scene in Legally Blond where she takes out her heart shaped notepad in her first lecture....

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I do the spiral notebook thing (cheapest ones I can find at Staples), but I make sure the spiral notebooks are 3-holed so I can eventually take notes out and put them in a more organized binder. Or just stick the whole notebook in there. School-supply shopping is my favorite kind of shopping. B)

The best I've ever done in a class (undergrad, mind you) was when I was taking notes by hand in a notebook during lecture, and THEN typing up those notes (not scanning) in a document along with my typed reading notes. The process of writing by hand also helps be feel more engaged in-class, and then in the process of typing, I'd synthesize everything, often summarizing concepts in simple language for ease of studying later. Obviously, it was time consuming, so I couldn't always do it.

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I'll probably be doing my Masters in Scotland, and I'm really excited about finding new and interesting notebooks to take my notes in!

When I moved to Canada for my undergrad, I found these paper-bound exercise books by Hilroy really good for my major and minor classes, but I don't think they're going to cut it for Linugistics - too many handouts!


Yes I'm aware they're for kids. But they're great!

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  • 6 years later...

For me, it's a lot easier to get organized by taking all of my notes on my iPad Pro. Plus, it's easier to sync across devices via iCloud. So, there's less likelihood of me losing my notes and documents compared to having physical copies of my notes, plus it's backed up in the cloud. 

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Real pen and notebook user here, but thinking very seriously on getting an Ipad pro to have everything in one single place. Getting tired of looking for old notes that I wrote several years ago.....

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