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Take note: Smart classroom tools for tech-savvy students

Leah Yamshon | Aug. 29, 2013
Attention college students! Use these tools to help you study.

With classes back in session, hopefully you already have everything from your back-to-school list. Laptop? Check. Textbooks? Check. Schedule and Blue Books? Check and check. Though your laptop or PC is your school lifeline, it's not always convenient to bring it to class. For those days, consider bringing more than just a typical spiral-bound notebook and your favorite gel pen. These high-tech notebooks and gadgets--plus one piece of software--will help you stay on top of your study game this semester.

Evernote (free)
If you don't already have an Evernote account, get one. It's a helpful program for organizing notes and projects. The app works across lots of different devices: It's available for iOS and Android devices, as a Web app in your browser, or as a download for your PC or Mac. Create a separate Evernote notebook for each of your classes, and then store all of your notes there.

Make notebooks for each of your classes and save all of your notes, projects, and materials in that book.

If you don't want to use your smartphone, tablet, or laptop in class for taking notes, just use a regular notebook, then take a picture of the page and upload it to your account later. These digital, interactive notebooks will make it a breeze to create study guides and outlines for larger projects.

Moleskine's Evernote Smart Notebook ($25-$30)
To really make the most of your Evernote account, try using Moleskine's Evernote Smart Notebook to take notes in class. This notebook has specially formatted paper with dotted lines, which ensure a clean image when you take a picture of the page and share it to your Evernote account. Your Smart Notebook comes with a three-month subscription to Evernote Premium. Evernote has both a basic (free) version and a premium (paid) version that has more features such as advanced searching through documents and the ability to share and collaborate on notes with other Premium users. However, you don't need Evernote Premium to use your Smart Notebook--your notes will be searchable in either account.

Capture notes with your Evernote app to make digital, searchable copies.

The notebook comes with Smart Stickers that make your notes even more searchable--use the stickers to tag notes with different categories. By default, the stickers have tags for Home, Action, Rejected, Approved, Travel, and Work; but you can change these tags and customize them with your own tags. Might I suggest tags for Final Exam, Term Paper, or Group Project?

When you're ready to save a note to your digital notebook, use the Evernote mobile app to capture a picture of the page. Its Page Camera feature will help you capture a clean image of the page, and it will interpret your Smart Stickers to properly tag and sort your note into the proper digital notebook. Once a note has been saved to Evernote, that handwritten note will be fully searchable, just like your typed notes.


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