Increasing Productivity and Efficiency Module


Notetaking is a very important skill to have. Whether you are attending a lecture or
a meeting, taking notes is a way to capture what you are hearing. It also helps your
concentration. Your focus has to be on the speaker as you handwrite or keyboard
the key points to remember later. 

There are many different resources to use to take notes. You can take notes by writing, keyboarding or creating an audio recording. If you feel more comfortable taking notes
with paper/pencil/pen that is fine, but there are very good notetaking technology apps.

You can easily open up a Word Processor or Notes on any device, but there are notetaking
apps that are specific to taking notes. What makes the notetaking apps more desirable
is the flexibility and the ability to organize and retrieve notes easily. Many of them also have
he ability to add highlighting, images, video and audio. Research shows that no
matter the notetaking form that adding images, highlighting,  bolding, and using different
fonts and sizes stimulates the brain and helps the information go from short term to long
term memory.


1. Choose one of the notetaking apps below. You will want to choose one that works on the
device that you plan to take notes with. 

Resource Name





 Android,iOS, Windows, Web

This is a great app for taking notes, clipping web pages and recording audio. You can add text, images, audio, and files to notes, then organize them into notebooks. You can take notes on one device and access them on all your other devices. It is a great way to capture what is going on in your classroom and email to your students or their parents. Evernote has their own YouTube Channel to access how-to tutorials for all devices. 

Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft Onenote

 Android, iOS, Windows, Web

OneNote is part of the Microsoft Office Suite and is designed around notebooks and note sections. It feels just like a paper note as you can begin keyboarding anywhere  in the note. You can add images and file attachments, notes, highlighting, audio and sketches. This video tutorial will assist you in learning all the in and outs of OneNote. 

Google Keep

 Google Keep

 Android, iOs, Web

Google Keep looks like a basic sticky notetaking app, but there's a “Copy to Google Doc” feature, which turns any note into an editable Google Doc where you can add images, comments, and link to files. Google Keep's most useful feature is audio transcription. When you record your thoughts with Keep’s audio recorder in its mobile apps, Google transcribes the text and records the audio. Use these step-by-step instructions from Google to download and use Keep to take notes. 

2. After going through the tutorials of one of the notetaking apps, it is now time to start using the app yourself or having your students use it.

  • First read this short article from Illinois State University with good notetaking and study tips.

  • At the next staff meeting or an activity where you need to take notes, use the app and utilize the different features to make your notes interesting and memorable. 

  • All three have powerful recording features if you prefer to record your notes. For example with the Evernote App, if you want to add an audio note, simply open the note and press the microphone button. The recording is added and synced up to your account nearly instantly.

    • Tip 1: If you have an iPhone, using Siri makes it easy to take hands-free notes. Just say Hey Siri, and record your notes   

    • Tip 2: For Android users, there is no Siri, but Dragon Mobile Assistant is a download that allows you to give voice commands for hands-free typing. 

Notetaking is a skill that is essential. Whether handwriting, keyboarding or recoding notes, notetaking is a skill that needs to be taught in the classroom. There are lots of resources and articles available to assist your students in the classroom. Check out the additional resources for tips and advice. 

Move on to Creating To-Do Lists



Addressing the ISTE Standards•T:

  1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity a,b,c,d;
  2. Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments a,c;
  3. Model Digital Age Work and Learning a,b,c
  4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility b
  5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership c


  1. Summarizing and Notetaking;
  2. Assigning Homework and Practice