23 Things for Research. Thing 17

Note-taking… I have been using OneNote since I was working as a management consultant in May 2013. At that time, I find I need a place to take notes, gather information, and get inspired. It works nicer than taking notes via WORD as it saves automatically and works much faster. To be honest, it is a shining product in the MS Office suite.

I actually knew EverNote, and downloaded in my phone and PC. But, well, I just didn’t find why I need it. The iPhone already has the Reminder, Notes, and Calendar which is enough for my daily life micro note taking demands. The OneNote is already in my PC and yes, I don’t bother to download and familiarise myself with another software that has the similar functions. After all, it is totally free, no such ‘premium’ thing to classify customers.

I also like taking note on my iPad with OneNote, easy and making myself focus. But I really wish MS can enable the handwriting function one day.

I have copied the following three websites introducing the comparison between OneNote and EverNote, and hope you may find it helpful:




In terms of the questions proposed by the 23 Things for Research, here are my reflections:

  1. How could we use the notebook structure to compartmentalise notes about different aspects of our research?

I am more a visual person, and can find it easier to clear my mind by a drawing a map or graph for my research. And notes, are mostly about plain texts, easy to read and also easy to forget. If I really need to take notes while I am writing, I actually prefer to do it my to WORD documents, that is on my paper. I write and note in the same documents. Just simply highlight it with different colours. I know that most of my notes will be included to the paper sooner or later, so why not do it at the same docs at the same time? I only move the resting notes to OneNote when I finish writing. Just in case I may need it in the future.

Notebook structure, huhh, I guess the themes/sections function of OneNote helps. Again, I am not really rely on notes. Writing and noting seems work for me.

  1. Could we use a system of tags to index our notes and make them simpler to find? e.g. PDF, JPEG, MP3, and MP4?

Well, I have never done this before and really cannot make any comment. It seems to be a good idea, but I also consider that we may have done something similar in the referencing software. Besides, the searching function of the OneNote seems good enough to locate information, in my case. I have not used EverNote seriously so not sure how it works. Another thing that I am worrying is that, taking note, to me, should be a quick and easy thing, will the process of creating tags necessary and time-worthy? Of course, the non-text notes, such as pictures, audio and video, they need a brief text introduction.

  1. What sort of file types would be useful in our research to save as attachments to notes? e.g. PDF, JPEG, MP3, and MP4?

Well, saving as attachments to notes, huhh, I would definitely vote for images. I reckon I prefere to save PDF in my EndNote as reference. So far, I have not find any other audio or video files that needed in my research. iTunes U and TED Talk are already there for me.

  1. Who would it be potentially useful for us to share our notes with or who could we make a collaborator on a shared notebook and how would that be of use in our research?

In my case, I am not sharing any at this stage as the doctorate research is individual studies instead of a team work. I did share some meeting notes on some seminars with my colleagues.

  1. Is there value to using the email integration? For example what emails or files would it be useful to email directly into our EverNote notebooks using our personal EverNote email address?

If it is for sharing, the email integration can be helpful whilst copy-paste actually also works… Since all digital notebooks are cloud-based, I personally don’t need that now.

About Part B. I am not using EverNote now and still loving my OneNote, so I just simply skip it. OneNote, GO!


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