Taking down notes is vital because first, ideas are important. And if you are one of those who easily forget things, then a note is perfect for you. Second, it helps with organization. It also helps illustrate, describe, or narrate what we have seen, heard, or read. This is especially true in meetings, school lectures, and other discussions. If you have a lot to write down, wouldn’t it be just great if you can access your notes all in one place?
When it comes to taking notes, there are a lot of apps to choose from. Take for instance Google Drive. Yes, you read it right. But how?
First of all, all of your docs (or notes in this case) are saved in Google Drive, which has the best search capabilities around, hands-down. That makes it easy to find the note your looking for in a flash. Evernote’s search is good, but not as good as Google’s.
You also can use Drive’s excellent collaboration feature to write and share notes with others in real-time—an especially useful scenario if you’re doing a group project with colleagues or classmates.
Finally, using Docs as your note-taking tool of choice prevents that oh-so-annoying scenario when you’re trying to remember exactly where you saved a key file. There’s no more “Oh, I put that note in Evernote, but the related Word document is in Dropbox, and the image is in OneDrive,” et cetera. If you go all-in with Drive, it’s all there.
To start using Google Drive, you need to consider organizing. Yes, Google can search your note for you, but it still pays to organize your notes.
You could just set up one blanket folder called Notes that you stuff all of these into, or you could get more specific with folders for meeting notes, agendas, recipes, or perhaps even individual classes if you’re a student. Drive also lets you nest folders if you want to further subdivide your organizational system.
What makes Google great especially if you are a student is it allows you to do actual-time edit a file together with another Google Drive user you shared the file with.
Google Drive makes it exceptionally easy to share a page of notes with a colleague—just use big blue Share button in the corner and fire away. Even better, the Docs commenting system allows you to ask questions or discuss any of the material back and forth right inside the file.
Add some tables to your notes.
For some notes you may want more than just the usual blank slate. Fortunately, you can tweak documents to make them function better for notes.
Inserting a table works best. Add a table (Insert > Table) with a couple of rows for a quick and dirty way to split up the page. This works great for a number of use cases, but especially for classroom note-taking or whenever you need to place text next to graphics.
Research Tool is an outstanding tool to use when you are using articles.
The Google Docs Research Tool is excellent for use with articles or research papers—and note-taking, as it turns out. For example, if there’s a phrase you want to know more about, just highlight it and select the research tool.
Docs will then pull up relevant links. If you want to keep those links around or if they’re useful for a collaborative note-taking session, then you can make the selected text a link. This can prove especially handy if you have a set of notes that are going to get worked into a report.
Google Drive isn’t just great for backing up your files. It works as an excellent note-taker as well.
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