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The Benefits of Using Note-Taking Tools to Get Organized

By Taye Johnson

At the beginning of the semester, it can be overwhelming to see just how much you have to keep track of between assignment due dates, exam and chapter notes. 

Have you ever written something down, come back to it later and not understood what you had originally written? That was my life before I discovered the benefits of using digital tools to help keep myself more organized and understand my handwriting. As a college student, I like using digital tools to make my college experience more enjoyable. Don't get me wrong, I love to jot down my notes using pen and paper, but sometimes, it’s great to utilize technology to help streamline my assignments and notes. 

I have been using quite a few digital tools over the years, and I can honestly say that each one has made my life a lot easier. I used to be one of those people who would write down everything on paper, but then I would lose it or forget where I put it. With applications such as Miro and Notion, you can easily organize your notes by subject or topic so that you never lose track of them. They are two digital tools that I couldn’t live without. 

Why do I enjoy Miro and Notion? Well, I am big on noticing the aesthetic of websites and mobile apps. Miro and Notion are user-friendly and allow their users to have the option to enable accessibility features. Another main perk for both is that they are free to download depending on how much storage you use. (This is similar to how email providers have a certain bandwidth threshold which, if gone over, requires you to pay for more storage.) I am also a fan of how both Miro and Notion allow their users to collaborate with others. I think that this is important because it lets people work together on projects without having to be in the same room, especially helpful for group projects.

Using online programs throughout the semester can help with organization, visualizing information and note-taking. Photo from Pexels

Miro and Notion have many similar features but also some differences. The main difference between these two is how their users adopt them. Miro is more of a visual tool that allows its users to create diagrams, charts and other visual representations of data and has a feature called "boards," which are similar to the boards in Trello. You can use these boards to organize your projects into different categories. Miro also has a feature called "stickies," which allows you to add notes or comments to any part of your project. 

Notion, on the other hand, is a text-based tool that allows its users to create documents, spreadsheets, and other types of files. It also has a feature called “pages,” which is similar to the Google Docs’ pages. You can use these pages to organize your projects by emojis. Notion also has a public link feature, which allows you to share a link to a presentation and is particularly handy during midterms and finals.

I can understand that sometimes it is hard to get back into the rhythm of things once the semester has begun. These tools have helped me stay organized and focused throughout college, and I hope they will do the same for you.

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