How to Take Notes on an iPad in 2023: Tips for Students

Note-taking plays a crucial role in students’ learning journey. Whether you’re a diligent student who prepares weeks in advance or a last-minute crammer, the quality of your notes can make or break your success. In today’s digital age, students have the option to choose between traditional pen-and-paper notes or embrace the convenience of digital note-taking. Studies have shown a shift toward digital methods, with 24% of students finding them more efficient than pen and paper.

The Advantages of Going Digital

Digital learning has gained popularity and frequency over the years. With e-learning, people can pursue education at their own pace, leveraging various digital devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers. In fact, since 2020, 98% of universities have moved their classes online. Research also suggests that e-learning can boost a student’s retention rate to 82%.

Apart from the efficiency and flexibility of digital learning, going digital also brings environmental benefits. By reducing the use of paper handouts and substituting them with digital documents, such as assignments, papers, and textbooks, students can contribute to reducing the carbon footprint and paper waste from schools. On average, a typical school uses around 2,000 sheets of paper daily, resulting in approximately one tree per week.

Recommended Apps and Tools

To make the most of your iPad for digital note-taking, you’ll need two essential tools. First, the Apple Pencil is a great stylus for annotating documents and images. It allows you to highlight text, draw arrows, and add comments to your digital notes. Moreover, you can create Instant Notes by simply tapping your locked iPad screen with the Pencil. The connection process may differ depending on the generation of your Apple Pencil, but as long as your iPad model is compatible, it should be straightforward.

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Another essential tool is a note-taking app, and fortunately, Apple offers two excellent options: the Notes app and the recently released Freeform. The Notes app provides a structured, text-based environment for your notes. On the other hand, Freeform offers a whiteboard-style workspace, resembling a digital scrapbook. Both apps are compatible with the Apple Pencil, so the choice depends on the nature of your notes. If you primarily deal with text, Notes will suffice. However, Freeform provides more flexibility for diagrams and mind mapping.

Effective Note-Taking Tips

Here are some valuable tips to enhance the efficiency of your digital notes:

  • Summarize: Focus on capturing key information and essential questions rather than writing everything verbatim. This saves time and helps you identify the crucial points.
  • Minimize Distractions: Since you’re working on a digital device, eliminate distractions like unrelated applications or videos playing in the background. Putting your iPad on silent mode can also help maintain your focus.
  • Structured Formatting: Use the outline method to organize your notes with bullet points instead of long sentences and paragraphs, which can be overwhelming to review later.
  • Voice Memos: Consider using the Voice Memos app on your iPad to record presentations or classes. This way, you can refer back to them and refine your notes afterward.
  • Review and Reflect: Remember that your digital notes are just one part of your education. To learn effectively, make it a habit to review your notes regularly, summarize key points, and address any lingering questions.

In conclusion, the Apple iPad offers an excellent platform for students to embrace digital note-taking. With the right tools and techniques, you can optimize your learning experience and improve your academic performance. To get started on your digital note-taking journey, explore the Apple Pencil and choose the note-taking app that suits your needs. Leverage the benefits of digital learning, contribute to a greener environment, and excel in your educational pursuits.

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