6 Reasons Why Digital Handwritten Notes are the Best

Taking notes is a critical part of any student’s life but it’s important not to get lost in a sea of information. Here’s where technology has brought convenience into students’ lives. It’s not surprising that notes taking has migrated digitally, shifting away from the hassles of traditional pen and paper. Digital note taking has revolutionized the way students are taking notes in class, by combining the benefits of technology and handwritten notes. Here are six reasons why you should go digital with your notes:
1. Capture Lectures along with Notes
Traditional paper and pen allow you to capture notes easily.But there’s always the possibility of missing out on something important when noting down in a hurry just to keep up with the lecture pace. Digital note taking apps help solve this problem. You can capture audio as you jot down notes making it easier to recheck later in case you've missed something. You can also play them out at your convenience (which is a great help for audible learners).
2. Plenty of Storage space – never run out of paper
Tapping on the advantages of cloud storage, digital note taking through apps helps store huge amount of information. Note taking apps also work with all cloud services making your iPad a one-stop shop for all your notes. Now all you need to attend classes is a light-as-air iPad or tablet making it much easier to give heavy paper notebooks a miss.
3. Organize your notes the Easy Way
When you deal with multiple subjects and classes, organizing your notes at the end of a long day is pretty tiring. With digital notebooks, you can organize and rearrange your notes to your convenience. Many note taking apps like Noteshelf actually allow you to add notebooks within notebooks. You can also maintain separate notes across subjects, sketches, meetings and so on. These apps allow you to customize notebooks covers, paper templates and personalize your notes.
4. Easy Search Options
Another obvious reason students can adopt digital note taking is the ease of searching. You can completely avoid flipping through pages just for that one bit of information and base your search on keywords, phrases and so on. Easy, isn’t it?
5. Access from Anywhere
Since all your notes can be synced and connected to cloud services, accessing them from any device or the web shouldn’t be a problem. That’s a feature which is extremely useful for those on-the-go.  
6. Simplified and Quick Sharing
Sharing of notes in today’s classes is essential as a part of online learning and discussions.  Sharing or exchanging notes helps build healthy professional relationships with your colleagues and classmates too. And digital notes have completely redefined how easily and safely you can share your notes via email, Facebook or Twitter. If not, you can simply sync your notes with platforms like Evernote or Dropbox as well.

Research states that notes taking is a valuable skill which improves comprehension and summarizing. That’s not all, it even improves your capacity to organize and brainstorm ideas. So, as you can see, note-taking is really beneficial and combining it with technology boosts overall performance, be it in college or at your workplace. All you need is a tablet like an iPad along with a stylus and you are all set!

How to Secure Notes in Noteshelf?

Noteshelf can be used by students, interns, professors or just about anyone who takes notes regularly. You can seamlessly capture information through beautiful handwritten notes, typing or recording and automatically backup your notes to Dropbox.
However, some organizations and even individuals wish to secure sensitive notes. This is where Noteshelf is extremely beneficial as it helps secure all your sensitive information using a passcode. For anybody who considers data security paramount, here’s how easy it is to secure your notes using Noteshelf.
Securing Notes with a Passcode
1. First click on the Notebook you would like to secure and continue clicking till you see the Edit icon on the Notebook.

   2. Tap on the edit icon. Select the Passcode from the pop-up icon on the top right side.

3. You can now enter your 4 digit passcode twice and easily secure your notebook. Next time you try to open your notebook, the popup screen prompts for the passcode.
A word of caution, though; it’s important to note down your passcode in a safe place in case you forget since forgotten passcodes cannot be recovered.

This is an easy and quick way to secure your notes in a jiffy. All your important and sensitive notes are safe and can’t be accessed without a passcode. Even sharing of these protected notes is possible only when you enter the passcode.
Share your Noteshelf experiences with us. We’d love to hear what you have to say.

What Happens When you Jot Notes by Hand

When five-year-old Mike is asked to write out his alphabets on a piece of paper, he stubbornly refuses and instead reaches out for his mom’s iPad. However, his mom Linda is relieved that he loves using the notes-taking app on her iPad as it’s as good as writing on a piece of paper. 

Sure, there’s nothing like good old pen and paper when it’s time to learn handwriting or take notes. However, walk into any college today, you will find students peering into their laptops, typing away their notes to the continuous sound of pounding keys. 

Pen is surely mightier than the keyboard

Do laptop users actually benefit in the long run? The answer is no, according to this study carried out by Pam A. Mueller of Princeton and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of UCLA. 

Here, students were assigned to take notes, either through a laptop or longhand, using a notepad, when they listened to a TED Talk. The researchers found that when it came to conceptual questions, those with handwritten notes performed better. In a follow up study, the researchers asked laptop users not to type verbatim, yet found no improvement in their performance. 

Source: www.lifehack.org

Why handwritten notes outweigh laptops 

This is evidence of how handwritten notes are still not obsolete. It was observed that laptop users tend to write verbatim and spend more time in transcription than comprehension.
Oppenheimer states that handwriting helps recreate content, and context, thereby providing more effective memory. Besides, students using laptops also tend to get easily distracted, they might spend more time browsing Facebook or the News. 

Striking the right Balance – Note taking Apps


So is it possible to get rid of technology and rely on traditional note taking methods alone? 

It depends on what floats your boat as both methods have their pros and cons. However, there is a perfect solution! Popular note taking apps like Noteshelf have revolutionized note-taking by seamlessly blending it with technology. These apps help you take beautiful handwritten notes, make sketches, and are loaded with features.You can record lectures and play back your notes, which is great for audible learners. Digital note taking also ensures that searchability is simplified. You no longer have to flip through pages just to find that one pit of information.                                               

What’s more, you can archive your notes in the cloud storage and share them with your classmates or colleagues on the click of a button. All this, in your own personalized style. Call it having the cake, and eating it too!   

The Apollo 13 Notes    

                                                                                                                                                                          Source: www.technicalwritingworld.com

Talking of handwritten notes, do you know that two bits of paper with handwritten notes scrawled across them actually helped save the crew of the failed Apollo 13 mission?

Jim Lovell and Fred Haise, who were part of the mission, marked the checklist in red and black pens in space noting critically important instructions when an explosion rocked their craft. It is a real time step by step account of how the crew powered down the craft to conserve power to get them back to Earth. 


Source: www.technicalwritingworld.com

Later Haise described it as, “A sheet that played an important part during the emergency conditions of the Apollo 13 flight. It is a record of the real time steps the NASA and industry team developed for us to perform ensuring our safe return to Earth.” The crew’s survival using the notes is one of the biggest tales of triumph in space history in the 20th century. 

So, tell us what you think. Do share your experiences of using handwritten notes and how they helped you. 


Easy Tips to Prevent Eye Strain when using your iPad

Eye strain and long term eye damage from ‘blue light’, emitted by digital devices are real concerns today.According to Dr.Jeffrey Anshel, author of the book ‘Smart Medicine for Your Eyes’, spending most waking hours with our gadgets can cause significant eye problems, besides health issues like disturbed sleep and even diabetes.Yet, millions rely on the iPad for any form of media consumption.  
Does that mean giving up on your gadget time? Not necessarily! Just follow these useful tips which will help prevent vision problems and other long term health issues.

Here are some handy tips to reduce digital eye strain for iPad users. 

     1. Adjust Display SettingsAlways be aware of the lighting in your room. Just make sure your room is appropriately lit. You can always change the brightness of your screens under Settings -> Display and Brightness to reduce excessive glare. It’s imperative that your screen brightness should match your surroundings. 

     2. Use the Night Shift Feature


If you possess an iPad Pro, iPad Air or later, iPad mini 2 or later, and iPod touch (6th generation), there’s an amazing setting called Night Shift which reduces ‘blue light’. This lets you manually or automatically change your display towards a warmer, yellower spectrum and reduces eye strain and disturbed sleep patterns. In the beginning, though you might have difficulty adjusting to this visibly different display, trust us, you would be thankful for its effect on your eyesight and health in the long run.
3. Anti-Reflective Glasses are the best For those wearing glasses, you can always opt for lenses with anti-reflective coating to reduce strain on your eyes. These reduce glare by minimizing the amount of light that is reflected off the surface of your eyeglass lenses. 4. The 20/20/20 Rule Dr. Anshel stresses on the 20/20/20 Rule to avoid a digital eye. It’s very interesting and simple too. All you’ve got to do is this! While working on your iPad, every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. This allows your eyes to refocus and to continue your task with added vigor. 5. Anti-Glare Screen Filter Use an anti-glare screen filter for your iPad to protect your eyes from glare when you are outdoors. There’s plenty of these available on sites like Amazon and the best part is, they are affordable too. 6. Undergo Annual Eye Exam The best way to prevent eye damage from blue light is to keep a tab of your eye health with regular eye examinations. Remember, prevention is always better than cure. iPads, iPhones are here to stay and we all love using them. With the six points we've talked about, you can continue to use and benefit from your smart screen device, hassle free!

How This Artist/ Dad/ Teacher Works and Plays with Noteshelf

Chris Francis is one of our recent Best Note Taking Contest winners of a Bamboo Fineline stylus. He blogs at devnicely.co.uk and at Photopedagogy.com, a resource for art educators that provides lesson ideas, and playful reflections on creative teaching and learning. Read up on his work, hobbies and how he uses Noteshelf on a daily basis.

1.) Tell us your background.
I'm a Senior Leader at a secondary school in Bournemouth, a town on the south coast of England. (I can see the beach through my classroom window and seagulls are a daily hazard). I teach both art and photography - mostly to post 16 students - and witter happily about such things on my blog devnicely.co.uk

I originally studied as an illustrator and worked freelance for 5 years in both the UK and Australia before getting a grown-up job. That said, I'll always be a doodler at heart.

2.) How did you discover Noteshelf?
I discovered Noteshelf through a process of trial and error - working my way through a variety of apps on a quest for something that felt right. For me that meant the feel of doodling with an ink pen - and at the drop of a hat - but without the mess. Mostly it means I can sit on the sofa and relax, feet up, no fear of ink spills. My wife is happy.

3.) What made you choose Noteshelf for your note taking needs? What kind of notes do you usually have in Noteshelf? 

I like the 'instantness' of Noteshelf. Other apps offer a wider selection of tools, but for me this can be a distraction. Spontaneity can be lost with increased decisions. Some apps also feel a little more intimidating with the blank canvas they offer, somehow Noteshelf feels more familiar, like a sketchbook. I'm also taken with the coloured markers. I've got my favourited colours and know my way around these quickly.

I've used Noteshelf for a variety of illustration commissions (including one of our recent Photopedagogy.com publication) but mostly tend to share doodles of my 3 year old son, Dougie.

These were what I submitted to the competition. It's nice to keep a diary of some of his exploits and they often make their way around family members (and across Twitter). 

Images exported from Noteshelf are a decent resolution too, which is important to me. For example, I've just illustrated a 2016 calendar as a christmas present - a simple Dougie themed affair - but the print quality holds up really well. 

I initially worried about losing the 'tangibleness' of an actual sketchbook but now see that iPad drawing compliments this opening up different possibilities, not least the ability to copy, paste and transform sections of a drawing. I've got plenty of loosening up to do still - in terms of quality and flow of line - but I think Noteshelf has helped with this also. Flicking through my Noteshelf library I can see improvements from when I first started to now.

I do use the app for the day job too. I hook my iPad up to a digital projector and doodle away. it's handy to annotate images, unpick a composition, or demonstrate something like thumbnail sketching.

It always feels more playful - and generates more curiosity - than working directly on the whiteboard. Of course it's then easy to save resources or email them out too. So no getting away from those teacher notes!

4.) How would you recommend Noteshelf to a friend or colleague?
Amongst the busyness of work and family life, time to be creative can be in short supply. In many ways that's how I've ended up a fan of using Noteshelf, it is very accessible and it doesn't feel like a compromised drawing experience. I should probably broaden my subject matter but I suspect I'll be drawing the boy (pirate / monster / builder / fireman...) for a while yet!

Follow Chris on Twitter at @DevNicely and visit his websites at devnicely.co.uk and at Photopedagogy.com.