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Best program for lecture notes

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Posted by Prion
Jun 3, 2016 at 10:00 PM


I totally agree about your own suggestion, Zim is wonderfully simple at first but with some room to grow. It is open, both in terms of source code as in the many ways you can make use of it. And the file format is future proof, too. Zim does not get in the way: you can format things as if you were editing away in Word if you so choose but the underlying syntax is plain text and can be edited with any text editor.
I was about to write something about Zim on this forum anyway but you beat me to it. Great tool.


Posted by Dr Andus
Jun 3, 2016 at 10:34 PM


If it’s for taking typed lecture notes, then I’d suggest WorkFlowy, in combination with a text expander app, to make typing faster.

You can zoom in on the lecture you’re working on, then zoom out into the course schedule or whatever provides the bigger principle of organisation.

Then the notes will be accessible anywhere (mobile phone etc.), and WorkFlowy would also double as a task manager for getting other aspects of one’s life organised.

Finally, all kinds of bells and whistles are available via free Stylish extensions and Chrome apps.

I do use WorkFlowy to take notes when I’m in meetings. But when I’m at a conference and I really want to pay attention to the content and take the fastest notes I can, I use an A5 size hard-backed paper notebook and a 0.5 black UB-205 Uni -Ball Vision Elite pen by Mitsubishi Pen Co. Ltd. ;)


Posted by Pierre Paul Landry
Jun 4, 2016 at 03:20 AM


re OneNote :
What is really impressive with OneNote is the you can record the full lecture and as you write notes during the lecture, it links the two, so you can instantly hear what the professor said, when you wrote it.
The video I linked to in my original post has many other tips and tricks

I wish I had this when I was at university !

Pierre Paul Landry


Posted by jbaltsar
Jun 4, 2016 at 07:30 AM


Hi there and thanks for all your suggestions.
I read that OneNote comes free with Windows 10, so this could be an option (although I always try to stay clear of MS products and cloud services and the like, but hey, he’s a new generation and I’m a fossil, he may even like it.)
I still try to convince him of ZIM, but I fear it may be too “old-school” for him.



Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Jun 4, 2016 at 01:01 PM


OneNote is a great choice, though it doesn’t exactly fit your qualification as being a lightweight resource.

I’d also like to offer a different solution: Scrivener

Not only can Scrivener be used for taking notes, your son could also use it for writing papers and capturing project-specific research. The Windows version isn’t as polished as the Mac version, but it is pretty solid. I would create a new project for each course, then use the folder structure to organize the classes. The index card feature would be helpful for studying, building flash cards. It has an outline view that could be very handy.

Take a look at the features, here:


Steve Z.


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